SANDY, Utah – Playing three games in only nine days, the Montreal Impact fell 3-1 to Real Salt Lake, Thursday night, at Rio Tinto Stadium.
While the score was still tied 1-1 after an hour of play, following a first half goal by Hassoun Camara and a number of saves by Evan Bush, the team had to finish the game with a man down from the 65th minute following the ejection of Issey Nakajima-Farran.
Five minutes later, RSL forward Olmes Garcia scored the game-winning goal with a header from the top of the 18-yard box taking advantage of a cross from the right flank. Garcia then scored the insurance goal in stoppage time of the second half.
“The red card changed everything in this game. We had a chance to go on a breakaway and both players went down for the ball. How can you give a red card on a play like that,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. “I thought that we had the game under control. We were managing the game well but we got that call. We made a few changes in the lineup to manage the group with Sunday’s game coming.”
“They are a very good team so I was ready for that,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush. “We held the fort but then the red card came. We knew they were going to push with their outside backs. We wanted to take advantage of our opportunities on the transition. We did well in the first half.”
RSL midfielder Luke Mulholland scored the first goal of the game in the 3rd minute. Following a corner that the Impact could not defend out of their own third, Mulholland took a hard strike from around the penalty spot giving no chance to Evan Bush.
The bleu-blanc-noir then tied things up in the 31st minute when defender Krzysztof Krol sent a cross to Calum Mallace. Mallace took one touch before delivering a short pass to Camara. From the top of the box, the French defender scored his fifth MLS goal with a precise shot to the far post.
Bush, who was starting a second consecutive game, made numerous saves throughout the night giving his team the opportunity to remain in the match. Mulholland, Morales and Plata were his victims in the first half. Bush was also magisterial in front of Morales in the 61st minute with a spectacular diving save, finishing the game with eight saves, a team record in MLS.
Head coach Frank Klopas made a few changes to his lineup as Nakajima-Farran was in the starting lineup for the first time since June 25, while Calum Mallace started his second game of the 2014 campaign.
Academy product Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé played his first minutes in MLS when he replaced Mallace in the 62nd minute.
The Impact will be back in Montreal Friday and will kick off a three-game sequence at home starting on Sunday at 8pm against Portland.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Heath Pearce, Krzysztof Krol; M-Patrice Bernier, Calum Mallace (Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé 62’), Andrés Romero, Felipe (Justin Mapp 62’), Issey Nakajima-Farran; F-Marco Di Vaio (Jack McInerney 77’)
Subs not used: GK-Troy Perkins; D- Karl W. Ouimette, Futty Danso; M-Maxim Tissot
RSL – GK-Nick Rimando; D-Tony Beltrans, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert; M-Ned Grabavoy, Javier Morales (John Stertzer 90+ 4), Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland (Cole Grossman 83’); F-Robbie Findley (Olmes Garcia 59’), Joao Plata
Subs not used: GK-Jeff Attinella; D-Carlos Salcedo; M-Luis Gil; F-Devon Sandoval
RSL – Mulholland (Schuler) 3’
MTL – Camara (Mallace, Krol) 31’
RSL – Garcia (Morales, Plata) 70'
RSL – Garcia (Morales) 90+3’
RSL – Wingert 18’
MTL – Gagnon-Laparé 82’
MTL – Nakajima-Farran 65’