While there were a few regrets, on March 11, after the Impact let a 2-0 lead slip, the team put in a solid display of perseverance this past Saturday.
Led 1-0 by New York City FC at Yankee Stadium, Montreal then didn’t give up an inch to the home team and was duly rewarded: the Bleu-blanc-noir returned home with a deserved point after getting the equalizer for a 1-1 tie.
“Obviously, when you blow a 2-0 lead at home, there’s going to be frustration,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush. “Throughout the whole course of the week, we didn’t let that necessarily creep into our mindset. You need to use it a little bit for motivation as energy, but you also need to understand that we were good for most of the time last week, and we needed to build on that performance. If we continue to perform the way we did for 80 minutes last week and for the majority of the game today, we’re going to be in a good position to start winning games.”
In front of Bush, the back four prevented dangerman David Villa from doing his thing. One of the four, Chris Duvall, was back at Yankee Stadium after three seasons with NYCFC’s city rivals, New York Red Bulls, with whom Duvall contributed to the epic 0-7 win of May 21, 2016.
You don’t get to beat the home team by seven goals every day, but Duvall was pretty pleased with his return to New York – and with the adjustments that the Bleu-blanc-noir implemented to draw level in the second half.
“We talked a lot at halftime about it and we were trying to make changes on the field,” Duvall said. “They were overloading out wide, the midfielders were just floating out wide, so we just tried to get a bit more organized because they’re putting numbers wide and doing one-twos through us so it was just a matter of not allowing them to draw us out so they could get behind us. Once we figured out what they were trying to do it was a little easier in the second half to predict it and maybe pick off some of those passes or at least just make it more difficult for them to get behind us.”