Just chalk this one up to missed opportunities, many missed opportunities.
New York City FC had plenty of chances to secure a win over the Montreal Impact on Saturday, but instead settled for a frustrating 1-1 draw on a raw and rainy afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
The Blues (1-1-1, 4 points) squandered numerous scoring possibilities that would have secured them three points. Their most memorable close encounters included Jack Harrison missing a six-yard sitter in the third minute, Maxi Moralez failing to convert a fast-break midway through the second half and substitute Thomas McNamara’s close-range header over the crossbar two minutes into stoppage time.
“We think we should have won this game, but this is the game of football,” City coach Patrick Vieira said. “If you don’t take your chances, you leave the door open for the patient team.”
“It was very frustrating,” said forward Rodney Wallace, who tallied City’s lone goal. “We dominated the whole game. We created a lot of chances. We defended well. Those are games that we want to win.”
Wallace, called in for Costa Rica’s next two World Cup qualifying matches next week, has been one of City’s biggest surprises of the young season. He connected for his second goal in as many games, cleaning up a rebound of Alex Ring’s shot that goalkeeper Evan Bush knocked away from point-blank range in the 44th minute.
“He fully deserved it,” Vieira said. “He deserved it because of the way he is working for the team. He’s a team player. He gives everything when he is on the field.”
The game turned in the 65th minute when Wallace found the onrushing Moralez in the middle of the box via a left-wing feed, but the Argentine fired a shot wide right that looked like a sure goal.
“It happens. It’s part of our game,” Wallace said. “We were just unfortunate that we did not get that goal.”
Three minutes later, Montreal (0-1-2, 2) equalized on a goal by speedster Dominic Oduro, who chested down Patrice Bernier’s pass, beat marker Ronald Matarrita, and then goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
“It was a mistake of the whole team,” center back Maxime Chanot said. “You cannot blame one player. I’m sure again we won’t make the same mistake.”
Vieira certainly hoped so. “When you look at the way we defend, it wasn’t good enough,” he said. “We gave them a chance to score the goals. They didn’t create them by themselves.”
The Blues will have plenty of time to work on defending and finishing because they don’t play again until they host San Jose April 1 due to the World Cup qualifying break next week.