Matt Freese highlighted a three-save performance with a diving redirection on Omir Fernandez in the 75th minute as host New York City FC settled for a 0-0 draw with the New York Red Bulls in the “Hudson River Derby” Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
NYCFC (6-10-13, 31 points) moved to 2-3-4 in MLS matchups since the start of July and is three points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Freese earned his third career clean sheet and second since joining NYCFC this season and helped keep the game scoreless when Fernandez charged in after getting a pass from Kyle Duncan. Fernandez attempted a right-footed shot from the center of the box but Freese timed his dive correctly and punched away the ball before the Red Bulls could get the rebound.
Carlos Coronel made two saves – both after the 83rd minute — as the Red Bulls (7-12-9, 30 points) moved to within four points of the last playoff spot as they attempt to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
The Red Bulls’ Elias Manoel had the first shot of a quiet first half for both teams. In the fourth minute, his right-footed shot from the right side was stopped by Freese. After Manoel missed the net in the sixth minute, John Tolkin was stopped on a set piece and Manoel missed the net in the 22nd minute and again just before first-half stoppage time.
In the 55th minute, the Red Bulls missed another chance at taking the lead when Andres’ Reyes missed a header from a tough angle following a corner kick.
NYCFC missed its first significant chances at scoring when Morales saw his header sail high and wide to the left in the 67th minute and Andres Perea saw a header miss the net two minutes later. Another NYCFC chance went by the wayside when Julian Fernandez saw his left-footed try hook wide.
NYCFC finally got its first shot on target when Coronel stopped Fernandez in the 83rd minute and nearly scored in stoppage time when Thiago Martins’ header was denied.
–Field Level Media
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