Reduced to Ten Men, Impact Plays to Scoreless Draw in New York
NEW YORK, New York - The Montreal Impact and New York City FC played to a scoreless draw, Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, in the club's fifth game of the MLS regular season. Impact striker Maximiliano Urruti was shown a red card in the 70th minute and will miss the club's next game, Tuesday night against D.C. United.
"This is a very good point earned today," said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. "In regard to attitude and team spirit, the team's reaction was excellent. There were a few difficult moments, but we got through them together by answering positively. The way we defended and caused them problems was satisfying to watch. We knew we had to stay solid defensively, so not conceding a goal points to the level of our performance. We've collected seven points after five difficult road games, without that feeling of confidence from playing in front of your home fans. We'll need to be ready for Tuesday quickly, and I hope my players remember what happened there last year."
Rémi Garde's men now have two wins and seven points in the standings, a record achieved just three times in the club's MLS history after five consecutive road games to start the season.
Physical first half
Goalkeeper Evan Bush was called into action in the sixth minute, when NYCFC's Designated Player Alexandru Mitrita pierced into the box and unleashed a shot towards the bottom-right corner, but the American reacted quickly and got a strong hand on it.
The Impact almost found its way behind the Citizens' backline in the 32nd minute, when striker Maxi Urruti passed to Saphir Taïder in space, but goalkeeper Sean Johnson rushed out to stifle the chance.
Evan Bush was forced to make another nice save in the 37th minute, diving to his left and getting a hand on a powerful long-range effort from defender Ronald Matarrita.
The Impact got its best opportunity right before the end of the half. After a foul by Matarrita, Daniel Lovitz swung the ball in from the right side, finding Taïder wide open, but the Algerian's header was aimed directly at Johnson, who made the easy save.
Chances after the break
The hosts almost took the lead upon returning from the locker room, Valentin Castellanos finding space on the left side and passing to Matarrita in the box, but his shot missed just wide.
Bush reached an important milestone in the 51st minute, becoming the first goalkeeper in club history to reach 15,000 minutes played with the Impact in all competitions. The American made six saves against the Citizens, earning his first clean sheet of the season.
"The clean sheet is important, especially considering last week's result," said Impact centre-back Zakaria Diallo. "It feels good mentally. We need to be consistent and not just play one game out of two. It'll be important for us to be ready Tuesday and finish the week on a good note at home."
New York thought it had taken the lead in the 64th minute when substitute Ismael Tajouri-Shradi squeaked one by Bush, but the play was quickly flagged for offside by the assistant referee.
In the 70th minute, Urruti was sent off by referee Ted Unkel following video review, after the Argentinean striker accidentally fouled defender Maxime Chanot. It's the striker's first red card in 167 MLS games.
In the fourth minute of stoppage time, the Impact almost stole all three points when Saphir Taïder dribbled past his man and passed to centre-back Zakaria Diallo, alone in the box, but his shot flew just over the bar.
"Our main goal was to maintain a good block and not allow them to penetrate us," said midfielder Samuel Piette. "I think we did a good job today. We didn't concede many opportunities and at the end, it's the result that counts. A draw against New York is good."
The Impact will have just a short break after its round-trip flight to Manhattan, since the club takes on D.C. United on Tuesday, April 9, at 8pm at Audi Field, in the American capital (TVA Sports). After, it'll finally be time for the much-awaited home opener, for the first time ever at Stade Saputo, on Saturday, April 13, at 1pm against the Columbus Crew SC (TICKETS - TVA Sports, 98.5, TSN 690).
MTL - GK-Evan Bush; D-Bacary Sagna, Zakaria Diallo, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Micheal Azira, Saphir Taïder; F-Orji Okwonkwo (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 83'), Maximiliano Urruti, Harry Novillo (Víctor Cabrera 77')
Subs not used - Clément Diop, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Rudy Camacho, Shamit Shome, Clément Bayiha
NYC - GK-Sean Johnson; D-Anton Tinnerholm, Maxime Chanot, Ronald Matarrita, Sebastian Ibeagha; M-Alexander Ring, Alexandru Mitrita, James Sands, Jesús Medina (Héber 63'), Jonathan Lewis (Ismael Tajouri-Shradi 56'); F- Valentín Castellanos (Keaton Parks 79')
Subs not used - Brad Stuver, Ben Sweat, Ebenezer Ofori, Tony Rocha
NYC - Matarrita 32'
MTL - Novillo 59'
MTL - Piette 63'
MTL - Sagna 72'
NYC - Sands 90'+3'
MTL - Urruti 70'
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