Article written by Michael Kantaris (@grkmikey95)
It was a nice day at Yankee Stadium for the home game against Montreal. Andrea Pirlo, starting for the first time in a NYCFC jersey, was a given a positive response from the fans. Frank Lampard, on the bench, was likely to make his debut today and the fans were ready with a sold out stadium of 27,645.
Montreal started out fast and looked more responsive than the hosts and it paid off when they scored early in the 6th minute: A beautiful over-the-top long ball that was controlled by Oduro, nutmegging the NYCFC keeper Josh Saunders and slotting it home into the empty net. Not too long after, Montreal sent another through ball, similar to the first one, over New York's defense. Ignacio Piatti controlled it enough to chip it over Saunders. Just like that Montreal had a 2-0 lead in the 32nd minute.
In the second half, David Villa converted New York's penalty in the 68th minute and the stadium erupted. And when you thought it could not get louder, Jason Kreis decided to please the crowd by putting Frank Lampard on for his debut. Everything seemed like it was going right for New York with Lampard, Pirlo, and Villa on the field. But it did not go the way New York City wanted when Saunders tripped up Piatti in the box and the referee blew for another penalty in the 83rd minute. Piatti, the Argentinian, scored from the spot to put the Canadian club up 3-1. Just when fans were exiting the stadium, Tommy McNamara pulls one back for NYCFC in the 85th minute to put the hosts just one goal away from Montreal. The fans could not be louder as they were chanting for their team in the last final minutes. NYCFC was piling pressure while Montreal was locked in their own half.
After four minutes of extra time New York could not find the equalizer to level the game. Even though it was Pirlo's first start for NYCFC, and Lampard's debut plus Villa atop the goalscoring charts in MLS, the home club came away with no points against Montreal. It was a shame since the fans were great and the stadium was sold out but Montreal were the better team overall.