Defence dominated in a battle of two high-powered offences on Saturday as CF Montreal and New York City FC played to a scoreless draw at Stade Saputo.
For two of the five highest-scoring teams in Major League Soccer, the first half was remarkably prudent.
Montreal (11-8-3) enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession with New York (12-4-6) seemingly more than happy to sit in a low block and wait for a counterattack.
The first chance went Montreal’s way just after the 10-minute mark. A dangerous ball from Samuel Piette floated across the goal and met Kamal Miller’s foot who put it wide.
It took another 30 minutes for a second chance to manifest. Lassi Lappalainen found himself in open space and cut the ball back to Djordje Mihailovic who forced a great leg save from New York keeper Sean Johnson.
Montreal started the second half with the same ball dominance, controlling the pace and looking to get Romell Quioto in behind the New York backline.
At the 55th minute, the finally got their chance. Quioto was played in and squared it for Mason Toye who couldn’t convert, skying the point-blank shot.
New York was perfectly content to see out the rest of the game by shutting the door defensively and letting Montreal pass around the defence, doing little to threaten the stalemate.
The crowd also observed a moment of silence before the start of the game, honouring former player and assistant coach Jason Di Tullio who died on Friday.
Both Montreal and New York will now travel to Lower.com Field and take on the Columbus Crew on Aug. 3 and Aug. 6, respectively.