NYC FC Can’t Close Out Montreal; Winless Streak at 7

New York City Football Club came within minutes of notching their first win since opening day, March 6, but the Montreal Impact had other ideas.

Montreal tied it in the 90th minute and the teams played a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

NYC FC is now winless in their last seven games, including their five home games, in which they have four ties and one loss.

Out of 15 possible points at home, they only have four. For the season, they are 1-4-3, seven points, eighth place in the  MLS Eastern Conference, just one point ahead of the Red Bulls and Chicago

NYC FC Head Coach Patrick Vieira said of what the team needs going forward, “The only way to turn it around is to keep doing what we are doing. I believe the players are working hard. They deserve more points than they have at the moment. Of course there are small details we need to improve. But I think we played good football and I think you will agree that we are not getting the luck like other teams are getting. We need to work even harder and we will turn it around. The game you saw tonight gave us a lot of hope.”

BRONX, NY - Wednesday April 27, 2016: New York City FC takes on the Montreal Impact at home at Yankee Stadium in regular season MLS play.
NYC FC Head Coach Patrick Vieira on Wednesday night. Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire.

Vieira said of the current winless streak, “You can see how tense the players were the last 10 minutes. A situation like this when things are not going your way, you don’t respect the game anymore that can freeze you a little bit. And you don’t respect what you are trying to put in place or the game. But it is difficult but we will come through.”

The game started off pretty evenly, but NYC FC got their chances, as they powered in seven shots in the first half, and held Montreal to just two, and controlled play 57 percent of the time.

Vieira said of what could have been different in the first half, “I think we put our stamp in the first half. We didn’t create enough chances because it was too late on effort and lack of support but at the same time we played against a team coming here who is well organized and made it difficult for us. And knowing how quick they are up front we don’t want to get exposed and I think the players from the first to the last 90 minutes managed quite well. We were patient with the ball. We knew if we didn’t create chances in the first half, we would create chances in the second half and that was our game plan. I thought it was perfect for 90 minutes.“

NYC FC didn’t take long to break through in the second half.

In the 51st minute, RJ Allen started a rush into Montreal territory with a pass to Khiry Shelton, who sent a low cross to the top of the six-yard box to Tommy McNamara. Allen continued his run down the right side and received a pass from Tommy McNamara in the crease before scoring inside the far post from seven yards out.

RJ Allen celebrating his goal. Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire.
RJ Allen celebrating his goal. Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire.

NYC FC captain David Villa said of RJ Allen’s first half goal, “It was a terrific goal. After that goal we believed in the victory and felt that we needed to finish the game off to get the 3 points tonight. I promise that if we play like that for the next 6 matches then we will win all 6 of them. The intensity tonight was big for us.”

Vieira said of Allen’s play tonight, “RJ, I am really pleased with him. He will be a really important player for us. His ankle is swollen and he needs to go for an X-ray tomorrow.

In the second half, NYC FC had 12 shots and eight corner kicks, but didn’t have the sustained pressure needed to get that second goal.

NYC FC’s defense did not give much up, but they buckled late and allowed Montreal some chances in the final 10 minutes.

Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba, now with Montreal. Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire.
Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba, now with Montreal. Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire.

In the 90th, Montreal was awarded a free kick and Didier Drogba took it near the right corner. Drogba put it towards the right side of the net, where Dominic Oduro slipped in past the defense, and got it between NYC FC goalie Josh Saunders and the post to tie the game at 1.

Vieira said of giving up the late goal, “In many games when you are winning one nothing, it can happen.”

The goal occurred right as the four minutes of extra time began, so when the clock hit 94:00, and NYC FC has a sustained attack going, the referees gave them another minute.

There was an NYC FC free kick at 94:15 taken Ronald Matarrita from the right side just outside the box, and it went over the crossbar of the net. After a couple of other chances, once Montreal cleared it away from the box as the time hit 95:00, the referees blew the final whistle.

Montreal's Didier Drogba battling NYC FC goalie Josh Saunders for the ball. Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire.
Montreal’s Didier Drogba battling NYC FC goalie Josh Saunders for the ball. Photo by Mike Lawrence / Sportsday Wire.

Villa said of feeling that NYC FC should have won tonight, “I think that we played well and that we deserved more tonight. We created more opportunities than the other team in a lot of games like this one. Soccer is difficult, its not just about playing well or strong, we played both situations well today but we just didn’t get the win.”

Vieira said of defending set pieces, “I think tonight we did quite well. The players we have are strong and until the last free quick we did quite well. In the end it was a lack of organization and concentration for the 95 minutes and of course a goal like that is frustrating. We deserved to win that game. I feel sorry for the players because they worked so hard and so well and they deserve more than what they are getting at the moment. We are in a period where everything is going against us, but we are going to stick together and fight together and turn it around.”

NYC FC Midfielder Mikey Lopez said of the performance of the defense“We worked hard all week on trying to defend their counter attacks and trying to kill any momentum they could get. It definitely showed today that the hard work we were putting in all week is starting to pay off.”

Montreal’s strategy was to shut down NYC FC’s stars David Villa and Andrea Pirlo, and they succeeded.

Pirlo, who was largely invisible in this one after not playing in Philadelphia Saturday, was lifted in the 77th minute for Mix Diskerud.

Vieira said of Pirlo, “Regarding Andrea, that was the decision but I was really pleased with his performance today. I thought having the position with the ball and having him in the last pass can create more and I was really please with that.”

On how to change the result in the future, Vieira said, “We need to score a second goal. We can get vulnerable and we can concede goals and changes but we needed to score that second goal.  We need more attention and more concentration.”

Villa said of what was different tonight, “I think in almost all of the games we have created a lot of opportunities but today the intensity of the team was amazing. Running all of the time, fighting with the other team, but you know, one mistake can make the difference. This will be big for us going forward.”

Frank Lampard has yet to play for NYC FC this season, as he is battling a calf injury. Vieira said of Lampard’s availability going forward, “Lampard I don’t know, we have to look at his injuries. He is on his way back and is really positive…We don’t want to put a date on Lampard but he is working hard.”




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