New York Red Bulls rue failure to score after "pure domination" against Atlanta United

Everything was good enough Wednesday night to seal the New York Red Bulls' place in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, except the literal finishing touch.

As a result, the Red Bulls had to settle for a 0-0 home draw against Atlanta United that leaves manager Gerhard Struber's surging team still without a 12th consecutive postseason appearance secured.

Three points would've sealed one of seven Eastern Conference places for New York, which has lost only once and conceded only four goals in their last 11 matches to rescue a once-wayward season.

But despite a 15-3 edge in shots and a 1.3-0.1 edge in expected goals, the Red Bulls now face a Decision Day trip to face Nashville SC (3:30 pm ET | ESPN) just one point to the good side of the playoff line.

"I think we have to be critical with our self, especially how we handled in the moment, chances," Struber said afterward. "This is in the end I think not enough. I think we have to win this game clear, especially when, look, now in the expected goal race, we dominated the game from chances and also from the expected goals, and this means we have to score."

Club leading scorer Patryk Klimala was the biggest culprit, failing to capitalize on chances to add to his eight goals. Among them: a 15th-minute header he flashed wide of the target, a 48th-minute half volley he smashed against the crossbar and a 52nd-minute breakaway thwarted by the legs of goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Caden Clark also had an apparent opening goal correctly disallowed for offside in the 54th minute.

"We make so many things in a very, very good way, and we have so much pressure on the opponent's box and also in the box," lamented Struber, who was not allowed on the sideline Wednesday because of a yellow card accumulation suspension. "I think in these moments, we need the balance to score, and also the determination, and I miss that today."

It was reflective of a broader trend for the Red Bulls even in this promising 11-game run, in which they've scored multiple goals on only two occasions.

But midfielder Dru Yearwood insisted the nature of Wednesday's performance in terms of chance creation should lead RBNY to head to Tennessee in a positive state of mind.

"From minute one, it was pure domination, and we had the chances to win the game," Yearwood said.

"I think confidence should be sky-high, we’re still unbeaten," he continued. "Yeah, we didn’t get a result that we particularly wanted today, but if we play the same, I have all the confidence in the world that we’ll go down and get a result and be where we want to be."