MONTREAL, Quebec – The Montreal Impact and the Rochester Rhinos played to a 0-0 draw at Stade Saputo, on Sunday afternoon, in an MLS Reserve League matchup. Goalkeeper Evan Bush, who wore the captain’s armband, recorded his fourth shutout of the season in reserve league play.
The Impact found its first scoring chance in the 18th minute when midfielder Andrea Pisanu recovered the ball in the box and fired a shot that just missed the top, right corner.
Six minutes later, Rhinos midfielder and former Impact member Pierre-Rudolph Mayard dribbled towards centre before firing a shot from 30-yards-out that was pushed away by Bush.
In the 41st minute, Mayard found a second opportunity when his blast from 35-yards-out hit the crossbar.
Both teams were forced to play a man down for the game’s final 35 minutes after red cards were issued to midfielders Collen Warner of the Impact and J.C. Banks of the Rhinos, following an altercation at midfield.
In the 57th minute, forward Blake Smith dribbled down the left flank, cut towards the box and blasted one from 35-yards-out, just missing the goal by inches.
Bush was forced to make back-to-back saves in the 78th minute off of a free-kick by the Rhinos Tyler Rosenlund. His play inside the box was redirected on goal, forcing Bush to make a diving save before getting up and stopping the rebound.
Defender Dennis Iapichino found the Impact’s best chance in the second half when he blasted a left-footer from 35-yards-out in the 85th minute. But Rhinos keeper Kristian Nicht managed to get a fingertip on the ball before it hit the cross bar.
This game was a renewal of old rivalries as the two clubs faced off on a number of occasions from 1996 to 2004, especially in the playoffs of the North American second division.
The first matchup between these clubs earlier in 2013 saw another draw as the Impact and the Rhinos played to a 1-1 tied at Sahlen’s Stadium. The Impact has an all-time record on 27-17-8 in 52 games played against Rochester.
“It was an average performance for our team, both offensively and in terms of intensity and creativity,” declared Impact assistant coach Philippe Eullaffroy. “We would have liked to be able to do more on the pitch against a Rochester side that defended well.”
“The game really picked up at the end as both teams were looking for the winning goal,” added goalkeeper Evan Bush. “Again today, we were able to keep a clean sheet and that is something we can build on for our next game.”
The Impact plays Sporting Kansas City in the regular season on Saturday, July 27, at 7pm ET at Stade Saputo.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Dennis Iapichino, Wandrille Lefèvre, Amine Meftouh*, Karl W. Ouimette (Philippe Lincourt-Joseph* 89’); M-Paolo DelPiccolo (Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé* 74’), Collen Warner, Maxim Tissot, Andrea Pisanu (Michael Bilak* 81’); F-Zakaria Messoudi, Blake Smith (Yacine Ait-Slimane* 64’)
Unused subs: GK-Maxime Crépeau
ROC – GK-Kristian Nicht; D-Kevin Duckett, Tyler Bellamy, Troy Robert, Danny Earls; M-Tyler Rosenlund, Lance Rozeboom, Pierre-Rudolph Mayard (Mike Reidy 64’), J.C. Banks; F-Blake Brettschneider (Thomas McManus 74’); Matt Horth (Andrew Hoxie 58’)
Unused subs: GK-Brandon Miller; D-Tyler Polak; M-Ross Labaux; F-Kendell McFayden
MTL – Bush 88’
ROC – Roberts 90’
ROC – Banks 54’
MTL – Warner 54’