MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact lost 4-3 to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night in front of 20,383 spectators at Stade Saputo. In the loss, striker Daniele Paponi counted twice and defender Hassoun Camara scored a spectacular goal.
The Impact, which lost its first at home this season in nine games, remains atop of the Eastern Conference, three points in front of the Philadelphia Union.
The home team conceded the first goal of the game in the 24th minute. A free-kick from about 35 yards out by midfielder Dillon Powers found Atiba Harris just inside the box. Harris rose over the defenders and headed the ball over Perkins, into the top right corner as the Impact keeper dove to his left.
Defender Hassoun Camara tied things up in the 38th minute. Following a corner kick from the left side, Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin was knocked to the ground in a scramble for the ball that bounced around before Camara, from the seat of his pants, scored a sensational goal as he juggled the ball once before using a half-bicycle from near the short side post for his second of the season.
The Impact took the lead in the 42nd minute when Marco Di Vaio – making his 30th career appearance in MLS - found fellow striker Daniele Paponi with a short ball near the top of the box. Paponi turned towards the inside from the left side of goal and curled it towards the top right corner for his first career goal in MLS.
Colorado found an equalizer in the 59th minute when midfielder Nathan Sturgis played a low, lateral cross into the box from the right-side touchline that found Dillon Powers inside the box. The Rapids’ rookie midfielder one-timed his shot just inside the short side post.
The Impact went ahead once again in the 72nd minute. Felipe switched the ball from the right flank to Davy Arnaud, making his first start since April 27 following a concussion. Arnaud chased the ball towards the goal line and while sliding to keep it in bounds, played a low ball into the box that found Paponi who slid onto the ball to push it past the keeper.
The back and forth continued in the 77th minute as the Rapids levelled it yet again when Deshorn Brown, left all alone in the box, one-timed the ball from point blank range after running on to a Christopher Klute cross.
The Rapids took back the lead for good in the final seconds of extra time when a counter attack led to a 2-on-1. Midfielder Patrice Bernier managed to break up the pass across the top of the box, but the rebound fell to the Rapids Tony Cascio, who took one touch before firing a shot that deflected off of an Impact defender into the back of the net.
With 20,383 spectators, the Impact welcomed the best crowd of the season, just 138 people shy of a sellout.
“I saw a team tonight that played with a lot of intensity and heart. I also saw a team that made some individual mistakes that cost us some points, but that’s part of the game,” said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. “Maybe we pushed a little too much at the end for the win and they got a little lucky to take all three points.”
READ: Match statistics
“To give up four goals at home is disappointing, especially for us as the back four,” said Jeb Brovsky. “It’s a heartbreaker for our supporters at home as we beat ourselves, so we are definitely not happy. You get punished for making mistakes in this league, but it’s something we need to learn from.”
“A loss like this at home is always tough to explain,” said Marco Di Vaio. “We were able to create a number of chances offensively, so it’s disappointing. But we can’t panic. We have to stay calm and analyze the game tape and work on some of those things we didn’t do so well tonight.”
In the 13th minute, midfielder Andrea Pisanu played a short lofted pass to Marco Di Vaio near the top of the box, but his one-time spinning right-footer went wide right of goal.
Di Vaio found some space down the right flank in the 41st minute, but his blast from distance was punched away by Irwin.
A minute later, the Rapids’ Powers played the ball down to the left flank to Harris, who crossed it into the box, but Edson Buddle’s header went off the left post.
In the 86th minute, a back heel by Di Vaio found Felipe, but his shot from just inside the box was stopped by Irwin.
The Impact hits the road to take on Toronto FC at BMO Field on Wednesday, July 3 at 7pm (ET). The game will be broadcast live on TSN and RDS. The team then heads back to Montreal to take on Chivas USA on multi-cultural day at Stade Saputo on Sunday, July 7 at 7pm.
MTL – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Jeb Brovsky; M- Andrea Pisanu (Davy Arnaud 58’), Patrice Bernier, Felipe, Andrés Romero (Blake Smith 67’); F-Daniele Paponi (Andrew Wenger 84’), Marco Di Vaio
Subs not used: GK-Evan Bush; D-Dennis Iapichino; M-Wandrille Lefèvre, Collen Warner
COL – GK-Clint Irwin; D-Brian Mullan (Marvell Wynne 81’), Drew Moor, German Mera, Chris Klute; M-Hendry Thomas, Nathan Sturgis, Atiba Harris, Dillon Powers, Nick Labrocca (Deshorn Brown 74’); F-Edson Buddle (Tony Cascio 89’)
Subs not used: GK-Steward Ceus; D-Brenton Griffiths; M-Jaime Castrillon; F-Danny Mwanga
COL – Harris (Powers) 24’
MTL – Camara 38’
MTL – Paponi (Di Vaio, Nesta) 42’
COL – Powers (Sturgis) 59’
MTL – Paponi (Arnaud, Felipe) 72’
COL – Brown (Klute) 77’
COL – Cascio (Klute) 90+’
COL – Mera 48’
COL – Labrocca 52’
MTL – Brovsky 55’