Montreal Goals: Azira 27'
NYCFC Goals: Camacho (OG) 17'
New York City FC's wait to clinch MLS Playoffs qualification will roll into Wednesday night after the Boys in Blue shared a 1-1 draw with Montreal Impact.
A Jo Inge Berget influenced own goal from Rudy Camacho gave City the advantage on 17', before Michael Azira's 27' equalizer levelled things.
There were chances for both sides in an entertaining match north of the border but NYCFC had to be content with a point.
Off the back of a two-week break from action, Dome Torrent welcomed back fit-again Jo Inge Berget, as well as Maxime Chanot (international duty) and Alex Ring (suspension) to the XI as the Boys in Blue looked to clinch their place in the postseason.
Three points would be enough to seal it but a resurgent Montreal Impact stood in their way at the Stade Saputo Stadium in the first of five remaining games in the 2018 Regular Season.
It was Berget who played the most significant role in the scoring of the opening goal on 17', as he raced onto an incisive cross from Ben Sweat and forced Rudy Camacho to divert the ball over the onrushing Evan Bush.
Although the Norwegian couldn't claim his fifth goal of the season for it, it was a perfect demonstration of what NYCFC have been missing in Jo Inge's absence but, sadly, the lead would last just ten minutes.
Azira provided the equalizer with a shot which also picked up a deflection, with this one off the unlucky Alexander Callens completely wrong-footing Sean Johnson in the City goal, leaving him no chance.
It was a blow for Torrent's side who had started the game well but they recovered from the concession and were well in the game, though there were few clear chances until the dying embers of the half.
First, Taider forced Johnson into a great save with his downward header on 44', before David Villa forced an equally good stop from Bush at the other end after El Guaje did brilliantly well to take down Ronald Matarrita's through ball and get his shot away.
Those saves meant that the teams went in at the break level, which was probably about right on the balance of play.
After the interval, Matarrita forced Bush into action for the first time on 56' when he drilled an effort into the palms of the 'keeper after a neat touch from Villa, who was in pain minutes later after a clash of knees, but fortunately, he was fine to continue after running it off.
Matarrita renewed his rivalries with Bush courtesy of a powerful thumped shot on 66' but the Montreal no.1 was right behind it again and he was also able to watch Sweat's dangerous right-footed shot clear the crossbar on 76'.
Johnson came to City's rescue with a crucial late one-on-one save to prevent what would have been a fortunate home win for the Canadians.
As it was, it remained 1-1 and City will go for the clinch vs. Chicago back in the Big Apple on Wednesday night.
NYCFC.com Star of the Game
The Costa Rican international was once again fielded in a more advanced role than he's typically been used in across his time at NYCFC but he looked assured and confident throughout.
Mata was especially prominent in the second period as he drove forward and took the game to Montreal, forcing Bush into a couple of handy saves.
Social Post of the Match…
Stats and Milestones
- Torrent made three changes to his lineup, bringing in Berget, Chanot and Ring after they missed the D.C. tie.
- NYCFC's all-time record vs. Montreal is now P9 W5 D3 L1
- Alexander Callens will miss the game vs. Chicago for yellow card accumulation
How they lined up…
NYCFC XI: Johnson, Tinnerholm, Callens, Chanot, Sweat, Ring, Amagat (Tajouri-Shradi 71'), Moralez, Matarrita (Castellanos 80'), Berget (Ofori 64'), Villa (C)
Subs: Stuver, Ibeagha, Wallace
The Boys in Blue were kicking off a three-game week north of the border - next up, it's Bastian Schweinsteiger's Chicago Fire back in the BX on Wednesday night.