Struggling NYCFC extends winless streak, draws Montreal Impact 0-0
Anton Tinnerholm has seen this before, and he doesn’t like it.
Each of New York City FC’s games at Yankee Stadium this year have played out the same way, with the Swedish fullback and his teammates sitting in the home locker room frustrated after a draw. It happened against D.C. United, against LAFC and again Saturday afternoon in a 0-0 draw with the Montreal Impact.
“Of course it’s frustrating. I think all three home games look the same,” Tinnerholm said. “If we don’t talk about the Toronto game, the other four we played decent, we play OK, but we need to find a way to create more chances and we need to find a way to win the games, at home especially. At home, we don’t win one point, we lose two points today.”
NYCFC (0-1-4, 4 points) had a pair of chances in the opening seven minutes, but Jonathan Lewis’ header bounced wide of the far post in the third minute before Alexandru Mitrita made a mazy run through the Impact defense only to be denied by a diving Evan Bush four minutes later.
Bush also dived to his left to push aside a Ronald Matarrita attempt in the 36th minute, which came just after Sean Johnson did well to come off his line to beat Saphir Taider to a Maxi Urruti through ball.
In a first-half with few scoring chances in the run of play, NYCFC had a late chance off a Mitrita corner kick when Sebastian Ibeagha, starting for the injured Alex Callens, put an open header wide from 13 yards out in the 43rd minute.
Taider latched onto a late Daniel Lovitz free kick, but he directed his headed attempt directly into Johnson.
Mitrita had the final scoring chance of the first half, but put his angled free kick from 24 yards out into the Impact wall. The rebound fell to Matarrita, whose shot was also blocked before referee Ted Unkel whistled for halftime.
Four minutes into the second half, Taty Castellanos played a clever chip to Matarrita, whose low shot was just wide of the far post.
“Teams play on the counter attack, build two blocks, its hard to find space for us,” NYCFC captain Alex Ring said. “But nevertheless we have to do a better job in the final third creating opportunities because I think we controlled the game in the midfield, in the back four I think they didn’t have much today. I think it’s about as a team more consequent in the last third and creating something.”
NYCFC’s newest signing, Brazilian forward Heber, debuted in the 62nd minute, replacing Jesus Medina and putting a charge in the announced crowd of 19,353. Two minutes later, it appeared the hosts broke the scoreless draw, but Ismael Tajouri-Shradi’s goal from the edge of the six-yard box was called back for offside.
The Impact (2-2-1, 7 points) were reduced to 10 men in the 70th minute when Maxi Urruti was sent off following Video Review for a harsh foul on Maxime Chanot. But NYCFC couldn’t capitalize on the advantage, failing to put a shot on frame in the final 20 minutes of regulation and five minutes of stoppage time.
In fact, it was the Impact with the best chance when Taider shed a tackle and found an open Zakaria Diallo, who settled before firing over the bar.
“Undoubtably it’s a good point for us,” Montreal coach Remi Garde said. “Coming from last week where we were and the kind of game we had, I think today was a much better team performance, a defensive one. Tactically, I think we were much [more] organized and disciplined, but also in terms of mentality, desire to work for each other, I think we put the level much higher.”
NYCFC will play at Minnesota United in Week 7 for the opening of Allianz Field next Saturday, while the Impact have a quick turnaround to meet D.C. United Tuesday night at Audi Field.