COMMERCE CITY, CO (September 16, 2017) – New York City FC got a road point over the weekend. Thanks to a first half Tommy McNamara golazo, they earned a 1-1 draw on Saturday at Colorado Rapids. Dominique Badji scored in the 88th minute to tie the game late. NYCFC are still in second place in the Eastern Conference. Again, Colorado dropped points, denting what is left of their playoff chances.
Colorado Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Tim Howard (C) — Eric Miller, Kortne Ford, Axel Sjoberg, Mekeil Williams — Michael Azira, Jared Watts — Marlon Hairston, Mohammed Saeid, Joshua Gatt — Dominque Badji
New York City Starting XI ( 4-2-3-1): Sean Johnson — RJ Allen, Frederic Brillant, Alexander Callens, Ben Sweat — Tommy McNamara (C), Andrea Pirlo — Khiry Shelton, Maximiliano Moralez, Rodney Wallace — Jack Harrison
Attack At Altitude: Tommy McNamara Golazo And Dom Badji Give NYCFC and Colorado 1-1 Draw
New York City got started on the front foot. They carried almost two thirds of the possession in the first half. The midfield combination of Moralez and McNamara moved the ball very well and created chances. Colorado relied on the counter, but did not high press the visitors that much. Badji got the first good chance of the match 14 minutes in. He created a turnover in the midfield then got running with speed towards goal. His shot at Johnson was saved and no one got to the rebound.
Tommy McNamara opened the scoring 19 minutes in. Pirlo won the ball from Saeid and got the ball to the Captain. McNamara dribbled around Watts into space then uncorked a shot to the top corner past Howard.
Five minutes later, Pirlo rang a set piece shot off the post, nearly making it 0-2. The rebound was off target and cleared out for a goal kick.
The teams traded chances the rest of the half, but neither could score. Gatt and Hairston were very active on the wings, with Hairston getting a good chance on the counter before halftime. The half ended 0-1 with no one on a yellow card.
The second half started with Ben Sweat almost doubling City’s advantage. The fullback got in behind, but Goalkeeper Tim Howard made two saves from point blank range on Sweat. Moments late, the Secretary of Defense made a routine save to clear the danger. Colorado turned up the heat after that sequence, attacking in waves and winning several corners.
Both sides went for the win with their substitutions. Shelzen Gashi and newcomer Stefan Aigner subbed on for Colorado in the 65th minute. MVP Candidate David Villa came back from injury off the bench in the 72nd.
The Rapids got a golden chance in the 84th minute. Substitute Alan Gordon got in behind and collected a pass in stride. He shot, but Johnson made the save from point blank range to protect the lead. Colorado weren’t done yet. Badji got another turnover in the final third in the 88th minute. He ran in on goal, turning on the jets, and bounced the ball over Sean Johnson and into the net.
The match ended 1-1 with the sides sharing the points.
19′ New York City – Thomas McNamara, assisted by Andrea Pirlo
88′ Colorado – Dominique Badji (unassisted)
This was a rare exciting game for the Rapids once they settled in. They got very comfortable in the second half and created some good chances once the substitutes came into the game. Still, they dropped points at home. At this point, their playoff hopes are all but mathematically gone. On the plus side, Badji continues to do a lot with a little. He leads the Rapids in goals with eight on the year.
For Head Coach Patrick Viera, these were dropped points on the road. They gave up a late goal after dominating the first half. McNamara had a good performance, even without the goal. Villa looked decent in his return from injury. They should be just fine once he’s 90 minutes fit.