New York City FC found themselves in a perfect position to take all three points on the road against Inter Miami CF. Unfortunately, NYCFC once again conceded a goal in stoppage time to blow their lead and end the night with 1-1 draw at the DRV PNK Stadium. NYCFC struggled in attack and could not convert their chances in front of goal against a Miami team that was without Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi.
Mounsef Bakrar was the main culprit of NYCFC’s poor finishing on a night when he didn’t score despite having multiple chances. The game remained scoreless until a moment of brilliance from Santiago Rodríguez put New York City with just 13 minutes of regulation time left. NYCFC parked the bus but were unable to keep their fourth consecutive clean sheet as Tomás Avilés headed home a stoppage-time equalizer.
New York currently sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. That’s above both DC United and the Chicago Fire, the two teamNYCFC will face to close out the season.
NYCFC: 10 shots, 3 shots on target, 35% possession, 334 passes, 81% pass accuracy, 11 fouls
Miami: 12 shots, 1 shot on target, 65% possession, 600 passes, 87% pass accuracy, 17 fouls
Finishing still needs work
In a game full of several chances to score, it is fair to be frustrated with NYCFC’s lack of finishing in front of goal. It was another poor game from Mounsef Bakrar, as he could not place his shots on target. Bakrar had an xG of 1.07, but his expected goals on target (xGOT) was a low 0.22. Bakrar put just one of his five shot attempts on goal, resulting in a 20% accuracy rate.
Bakrar’s worst miss of the night came in the 26th minute. Andrés Perea played a low pass to the back post, but Bakrar could not tap in the ball into the open net and put his effort wide. The Algerian forward was substituted off in the 73rd minute in what was another disappointing performance.
NYCFC will need to address their finishing if they are to find success. They failed to take advantage of facing an Inter Miami team without Lionel Messi. If New York does make the playoffs, their inability to score against strong teams will come back to hurt. It might be harsh to expect a lot from Bakrar so quickly – after the 22-year-old is still settling into MLS – but some things need to improve.
Santi puts the team on his back
Rodríguez played in the No 10 spot tonight and had another positive game. His performance is one to be proud of, as he came through with a brilliant solo goal to put NYCFC in the lead. Rodríguez has played in the No 9 position and on the wings at times this season, but it is clear he is most impactful when playing in the center of the pitch.
Rodríguez was able to score for New York in the 77th minute following an impressive dribble into the box and an even better finish in the top left corner of the net. Rodríguez beat three Inter Miami defenders to create space to blast the shot on his right foot: Callender couldn’t do anything about that one.
Take a bow, Santi. You deserve it after that goal.
Another attribute that stood out from Rodríguez’s performance was his ability to draw fouls. The Uruguayan drew five fouls, which was the most out of any player on the pitch. Rodríguez had a pass accuracy of 77% and played three successful passes into the final third. It is comforting to know that his contract with the club lasts until 2027.
Problems persist with set pieces
NYCFC had a strong game on defense overall, but switched off on a late corner kick. Fortunately for Inter Miami, they were able to capitalize on this to level the game. This is nothing new for New York, conceding goals off of set pieces has been a problem all season. Whether it is not being able to track a late runner to the back post or losing your mark, NYCFC have struggled to get it right.
Inter Miami had a corner kick in the 95th minute, as every New York fan was on the edge of their seat. Miami’s Avilés and Josef Martínez both jumped for the header, but Avilés connected to put it past Matt Freese. The concerning part of this is that not a single NYCFC player even attempted to jump to clear the ball. Avilés was able to easily rise over Richy Ledezma, Tayvon Gray, Birk Risa, and Keaton Parks.
The defending from this set piece was questionable.
Despite conceding a stoppage-time equalizer, New York City was defensively sound throughout the game. Gray had another good performance game at right-back, winning 86% of his ground duels while also having a 100% accuracy rate for long balls forward. The center-back duo of Thiago Martins and Risa was impressive once again, as the two look even more comfortable together.
Up next for NYCFC is a huge road game against DC United. New York will need to get a result at Audi Field in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
- NYCFC, Santi Rodríguez, 77′
- Miami, Tomás Avilés, 90+5′
- NYCFC, Richard Ledezma, yellow card, foul 52′
- NYCFC, Andres Jasson, yellow card, handball 81′
- Miami, Benjamin Cremaschi, yellow card, foul 33′
- Miami, Tomás Avilés, yellow card, foul 40′
- Miami, Facundo Farías, yellow card, foul 62′
- Miami, Serhiy Kryvtsov, yellow card, foul 69′
- Miami, Dixon Arroyo, yellow card, foul 70′
- Miami, Noah Allen, yellow card, foul 90+8′
- Referee: Victor Rivas
- Assistant referees: Kevin Klinger, Eric Weisbrod
- Fourth official: Luis Diego Arroyo
- VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
- Ast. VAR: Jozef Batko