|NYCFC celebrate their goal on Saturday night in Montreal USA Today Sports.|
New York City Football Club earned a point on the road as they drew with the Montreal Impact, 1-1, on Saturday night.
NYCFC is now 14-8-8, with 50 points, in third place, three points ahead of the Columbus Crew, who beat Colorado, 2-1, to improve to 13-8-9, with 47 points.
NYCFC's hopes of finishing in the top two in the Eastern Conference took a major dent as they lost ground to Atlanta and the Red Bulls.
Atlanta beat Real Salt Lake, 2-0, to improve to 19-6-5, with 63 points, while the Red Bulls beat Toronto, 2-0, and are now 18-5-7, with 59 points.
With four matches left, the most points NYCFC can get is 62, so they cannot catch Atlanta, and the Red Bulls need four points (either from their wins or NYCFC dropping points in ties or losses) to clinch second.
NYCFC had a different look than their last match, two weeks ago against DC United, as the starting lineup included Jo Inge Berget back from injury, as well as Maxime Chanot, who was away from the team for international duty; and Alex Ring, who was suspended.
Berget played a big part in the opening goal of the match in the 17th minute, as he raced onto an incisive cross from teammate Ben Sweat and forced Montreal's Rudy Camacho to divert the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper Evan Bush.
Camacho was charged with the own goal, which gave NYCFC a 1-0 lead.
10 minutes later, Montreal responded, with Micheal Azira, on a feed from Ignacio Piatti, earning the equalizer.
|NYCFC Head Coach Domenec Torrent. USA Today Sports.|
NYCFC Head Coach Domènec Torrent was impressed by his team’s performance, and he said after the road draw, ‘‘We played much better the last three or four games away. The performance has been much better. We had the control of the game, but they used the counterattack. Especially the last fifteen minutes in the first half. They decided to defend deep. They are a dangerous team when they make a counterattack. We knew that. But we controlled them well. The most important thing for us is we kept the ball, we controlled 70% of the game.”
NYCFC Goalkeeper Sean Johnson said of the game, ‘‘I thought it was one of our better road performances in the recent run of games we’ve had. Obviously disappointing to go up 1-0 and then not be able to close out the game out. But I thought there were some good things tonight. But we’re still trying to figure out how to get that elusive away win, so we’ll get back to it. We have another away game next weekend. But the positive is we can take a lot of things going into Wednesday’s match against Chicago.’’
NYCFC Forward Jo Inge Berget said of their earning a point on the road, ‘‘Yes, it was an important point but what we’re missing the last games is a win. It was a good game and we got a good point but still, we didn’t get the win that we came here for and it’s been a while now since we last won a game. We really want to win. That’s the good thing about the tight schedule now. We have another game on Wednesday and we didn’t get it today.’’
Berget said of his return from injury, ‘‘The injury didn’t bother me, and I didn’t feel anything to it, so it was a good 60 minutes to get back there. Obviously, we wanted more but still, if you look at away games, it is a step in the right direction. Montreal is a good team and I think we played a decent game. We didn’t create as many chances as we wanted to but still, I think we played well tonight and it was a step in the right direction.’’
Torrent said, ‘‘Berget was injured the last month and we knew he was ready to play 50-55 minutes. In the first half, he told me ‘When I’m really tired, I’ll tell you.’ I think it was at 55 minutes that he told me he was tired and to change him because we knew he was not ready for 90 minutes.’’
Berget said of the team's lack of scoring recently, ‘‘You win games if you score goals. It’s as easy as that. If you score many goals each game, you’re most likely going to win many games. And these last games we haven’t really scored. We created loads of chances. Maybe not today but the last few games. And we just can’t get it in the net. But we know the quality of the players we have here that it is going to come. It’s just about giving that extra 5% and that little bit of luck as well. I’m sure it is going to come and when they do, hopefully they’re going to come for all of us.’’
Berget said of his role on the field when a team defends deep, ‘‘My job is to be strong and to make runs in behind. Maybe not to get a ball but to stretch them and to give a little bit of room to Maxi (Moralez) and David (Villa). On our first goal, that is exactly what happened. David got a little room and then he can pick those passes and then got a great cross in. And it ended in the back of the net. And that’s what we need to do even when teams are laying low. There is still space for those kinds of players to take advantage. And then it’s my job to do the dirty work and run around and I’m happy to do that.’’
NYCFC is back home at Yankee Stadium this Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against the Chicago Fire and Bastian Schweinsteiger.