BRONX, N.Y. — Standing in front of his stall in the New York City FC locker room, Anton Tinnerholm couldn’t believe he was fielding questions about his team’s 1-1 draw against Atlanta United on Saturday afternoon.
That NYCFC didn’t come away with three points considering the bevy of scoring chances – especially in the second half – was unfathomable. The storylines, he thought, should have been about a resounding win, a perfect home form and sitting atop the Eastern Conference heading into the World Cup break.
“I thought in the second half there was one team on the field and for me it’s ridiculous that we don’t win this game,” Tinnerholm said. “I don’t know how many chances we had, we had so many shots and the post and we create so many chances. This is one of our best games this season and now we stand here and I talk to you and we still have one point.”
NYCFC, which failed to secure a home win for the first time in seven games at Yankee Stadium, had a 25-6 edge in shots – 20-3 in the second half, but they could only manage one goal on an equalizing Alex Callens header at the back post in the 77th minute.
“I’m happy. I’ve been working very hard for this,” Callens said. “We got the tie and I also gave my team the momentum to go and chase the winning goal.”
That was the only ball Brad Guzan picked out of the back of his net in a Man of the Match performance, with the majority of the Atlanta United goalkeeper’s nine saves coming after halftime.
But Maxi Moralez was also quick to point out the three balls that caromed off the posts that had Guzan beat, including one by him deep into second half stoppage time.
“He was very lucky,” Moralez said. “Obviously he had three posts to his favor. We were able to get to the goal, but we just couldn’t finish unfortunately. Keeping that fighting attitude, still getting that tie at the end of the day.”
On another day – and David Villa used lopsided wins against Real Salt Lake (4-0), Colorado Rapids (4-0) and Orlando City SC (3-0) as examples – the law of averages are in NYCFC’s favor. But he lauded his team’s play, which is why he leaves Yankee Stadium with mixed emotions.
“We are a little disappointed with the result,” Villa said. “But we are very happy with the way the team played today.”
Because of the way NYCFC played against an Atlanta team that is atop the Supporters’ Shield standings, Patrick Vieira doesn’t consider it two points lost.
“For me, this game is more a win than anything else because yeah, the result didn’t go in our way, the number of chances that we created, I think we will win more games than draw or lose with that kind of attitude, with that kind of game plan and that kind of positiveness,” he said.