First-half goals send NYCFC past CF Montreal

ByReuters ESPN logo
Thursday, August 31, 2023

Andres Jasson and Monsef Bakrar scored first-half goals to lead New York City FC to a 2-0 victory over visiting CF Montreal on Wednesday.

Jasson opened the scoring in the 30th minute. Some nice midfield passing from NYCFC set Jasson up with the ball, and Jasson then entered the box and found space for a well-placed shot into the top left corner of the net.

New York City (6-10-11, 29 points) struck again seven minutes later, when Birk Risa sent a long pass downfield to Bakrar as the forward entered the box. Bakrar outmaneuvered defender Joel Waterman to approach the net, and when Jonathan Sirois approached to challenge, Bakrar rolled the ball past the Montreal goalkeeper.

It was Bakrar's first regular-season MLS goal since signing with New York City FC in July. Bakrar and Birk were two of several NYCFC acquisitions during the transfer window, as the team is still within range of the playoffs despite a lack of form over the past four months.

New York City FC won for just the second time in their past 18 regular-season matches (2-8-8), with both of those victories coming over CF Montreal. NYC also collected a 1-0 shutout in Montreal on July 1.

Wednesday's loss snapped a three-match winning streak for CF Montreal (11-13-2, 35 points), and continued their longstanding struggles against NYCFC. Montreal is only 2-11-5 in all-time regular-season play against New York City and also took a playoff loss to NYCFC in last season's Eastern Conference semifinals.

Making a rare start in place of regular NYCFC goalkeeper Luis Barraza, Matt Freese made three saves for his first clean sheet of the season.

Freese stopped Ariel Lassiter (63rd minute) and Mathieu Chouiniere (66th) during a stretch of pressure for CF Montreal in the second half, but the visitors had difficulty putting their chances on target throughout the game.

Lassi Lappalainen had perhaps Montreal's best scoring opportunity in the 19th minute, on a shot that deflected off the top of the crossbar.

--Field Level Media