HARRISON, New Jersey – Time may have caught up to the Montreal Impact after playing its third game in just eight days, including a midweek match in El Salvador, falling to a well-rested New York Red Bulls side 4-2 at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night.
Dilly Duka scored his first goal with the Impact and Andrés Romero found his sixth of the season, while strikers Thierry Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips both scored twice for the Red Bulls.
"I think Henry made a big difference in the second half," said head coach Frank Klopas. "I thought we were sharp at moments, especially in the first half. We found some chances and we pushed to try and tie it. They took advantage of that to score the fourth goal."
"We actually put in a pretty good effort," said Evan Bush. "That second goal killed us. I was in between trying to grab it and push it away and didn't make up my mind. We created some chances and pushed the game all the way until the end. The third game in a week was tough, but we battled tonight."
"It's unfortunate because we caused them a lot of problems. We deserved more tonight,” explained Hassoun Camara. "They have a lot of talent up front and we suffered in the second half. We could have had a better result if we were more compact like in the first half. It's cruel to give up four goals like that."
The Impact held off an early onslaught by the Red Bulls in the first half, including a goal line clearance by Matteo Ferrari in the 7th minute and a spectacular reactionary save by Evan Bush one minute later off of a header by Bradley Wright-Phillips.
The Impact clawed its way back after being out-possessed early on to find the game’s opening goal on a counter attack. Calum Mallace played a beautiful through ball along the ground from centre field that found Dilly Duka streaking down the left flank. As he pushed towards goal, Duka faked inside, went outside and used a low left-footed strike to beat Luis Robles short side.
The Red Bulls found the equalizer in the 53rd minute. Eric Alexander curled a cross into the box that found Thierry Henry, who scored with a diving header to the far corner.
Henry scored his second of the game, his ninth in five games played against the bleu-blanc-noir, when he curled a low ball from inside the box that bounced over Bush as he dove to his left in the 67th minute.
The Frenchmen then played a perfect ball onto the path of Bradley Wright-Phillips in the 74th minute for the league’s leading goal scorer.
Romero brought the Impact back to within one when Wandrille Lefèvre played him down the right flank on a counter attack following a corner. The Argentine cut inside, beating Roy Miller and used his left foot to curl one top corner, far post in the 79th minute.
Wright-Phillips scored his second of the game in extra time, on an almost identical play to his first, this time from the other side of the pitch giving the Englishmen 20 on the season.
These sides will take to the pitch again on two occasions in the CONCACAF Champions League on September 17 at Stade Saputo and on October 22 at Red Bull Arena.
IMFC will return home Sunday to take on the Columbus Crew on Saturday, at Stade Saputo, at 7:30pm EDT. Excellent tickets for that game are available through ticketmaster.ca
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Hassoun Camara, Wandrille Lefèvre, Matteo Ferrari, Krzysztof Krol (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 81’); M-Calum Mallace, Felipe, Andrés Romero, Dilly Duka, Ignacio Piatti (Maxim Tissot 69’); F-Jack McInerney (Marco Di Vaio 62’)
Subs Not used: GK-Troy Perkins; D-Karl W. Ouimette; M-Patrice Bernier, Issey Nakajima-Farran
NY – GK-Luis Robles; D-Ibrahim Sekagaya, Roy Miller, Jamison Olave, Chris Duvall; M-Lloyd Sam, Dax McCarty, Eric Alexander (Ambroise Oyongo 60’), Tim Cahill (Peguy Luyindula 67’); F-Bradley Wright-Phillips, Thierry Henry (Saer Sene 83’)
Subs not used: GK-Ryan Meara; D-Richard Eckersley, Damiel Perrinelle; M-Eric Stevenson
MTL – Duka (Mallace) 37’
NY – Henry (Alexander) 53’
NY – Henry (McCarty) 67’
NY – Wright-Phillips (Henry) 75’
MTL – Romero (Lefèvre) 79’
NY – Wright-Phillips (Luyindula) 90’