The hosts out-shot Montreal 18-8 and 61% of the possession in the second half, but they couldn’t tack on to Rodney Wallace’s 44th-minute goal.
“We’re really frustrated because we think we should win this game and take the three points because of the way we played and the chances we created,” NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira said. “But this is the game of football. If you don’t take your chances you leave the door open for the opposition team.”
Two of the best opportunities came in the opening 20 minutes. The first arrived when David Villa won the ball along the endline and centered an inviting pass to the edge of the six-yard box, where an open Jack Harrison blasted a shot well over the crossbar in the third minute.
“I think I got a little too excited when I saw the net,” Harrison said. “I’ll be looking back to kind of maintain my composure in front of the net and find ways to put the ball in the back of the net. That was an important part of the game and I know I should have scored.”
Harrison then played provider with a nifty stepover at the right edge of the 18-yard box to create a sliver of space. He delivered a quality ball to Alex Ring, who also put a first-time attempt over the net from six yards out.
“We had chances in the second half too. To score 2-0, I don’t think you can blame it on the early chances, the later chances,” Ring said. “The most important thing is we have been creating the chances in every game. It’s just about being effective and aggressive in front of goal to kill the games earlier.”
The best chance of the second half came three minutes before Dominic Oduro’s 68th-minute equalizer. Maxi Moralez won the ball in his defensive third and started a quick counter. He passed to Villa on his right and the ball went to Wallace and back to Moralez, who fired wide of the far post.
While the defensive effort in the first three games has been better, Vieira doesn’t believe the two goals his team has conceded on the season were about the opposition creating danger.
“The two goals we concede so far were goals that we give away, that we didn’t defend well,” Vieira said. “This is what I’m frustrated about. They scored a really good goal today, but when you look at the way we defend, it wasn’t good enough. I believe that we give them a chance to score the goals. They didn’t create them by themselves. This is what is frustrating.”
Defender Maxime Chanot, though, had a positive outlook on the way NYCFC have played on both sides of the ball in the first three matches.
“We scored one goal today, four goals last week, we should [have] score[d] goals two weeks ago against Orlando. I think the feedback is not so bad,” Chanot said. “OK, at the end we’ve got only four points. But I don’t think it’s so bad. Let’s see what’s going to happen next week.”