Australian star Tim Cahill was thrilled to captain the New York Red Bulls in their mid-season friendly with French club Olympique Lyonnais on Tuesday night.

The MLS giants drew 2-2 with Ligue 1 outfit Lyon at Red Bull Arena, coming from behind to lead 2-1 before conceding at the end.

Defender Jamison Olave's deflection in the fourth minute gave the visitors an early lead before Dax McCarty levelled for the Red Bulls with a fierce effort jut after the half-hour mark.

New York edged ahead through Andre Akpan who bundled home in the 61st minute after Lloyd Sam found him in the centre of the area but Lyon levelled with 15 minutes remaining when France international Yoann Gourcuff rifled home.

Cahill, who was subbed out at half-time for Eric Alexander, took the captain's armband in the absence of Thierry Henry and felt privileged to be given the opportunity.

The Red Bulls return to MLS action against Toronto FC at BMO Field this weekend.

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