HOUSTON, Texas – The Montreal Impact fell 3-2 to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night, after a difficult game in hot weather conditions at BBVA Compass Stadium. Dilly Duka and Ignacio Piatti scored for the bleu-blanc-noir, while the Orange escaped a penalty kick when a handball was missed in the box with just minutes left to play.
"The game was under control in the first half," said head coach Frank Klopas. "We scored that second goal, but in the final third, we could have done a little better. A few mistakes cost us, but in the end, a clear penalty at the end of the game and it's not called. The league has to do something because it's embarrassing.”
The Impact played a strong first half and created two good scoring chances, but both Di Vaio and Felipe’s attempts went wide in the first 25 minutes.
Houston then found the game’s opening marker when Giles Barnes found a ball that deflected off of an Impact defender and broke in on goal, poking it short side past Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush in the 30th minute.
IMFC found the equalizer 10 minutes later when Felipe, near the top of the box, dribbled right before playing the ball left into the half circle that found Dilly Duka, who curled a low left-footer inside the opposite post.
The heat then forced the bleu-blanc-noir to change defender Matteo Ferrari at the half, but the Impact still looked to have things under control when Ignacio Piatti, played through by Marco Di Vaio near the half line, dribbled all the way into the box in the 55th minute. With three Dynamo players on his tail, the Argentine showed calm and presence in front of goal; poking the ball past Tyler Deric just as the keeper came sliding at his feet, flipping the DP into the air as the ball rolled past the goal line.
Then, a stretch of three minute saw the tides change. Barnes found his second of the game when he had an easy redirect in front of goal off of a pass from Omar Cummings in the 62nd minute. Three minutes later, Ricardo Clark gave the Orange the lead when Brad Davis sent his corner into the box, bouncing off of a group near the six-yard line before finding Clark far post.
"It's a tough place to play," explained Duka. "The pitch is dry and it was probably one of the hottest days of the summer. But that's not what cost us the game. They have some quality players and if you turn it off, even for a moment, they are going to punish you."
“It was very difficult in the second half physically, we were late a number of times on the ball,” said Wandrille Lefèvre. “It’s tough and unfortunate that we couldn’t play a good full 90 minutes. Missing some of our veterans tonight hurt us in the second half, especially under these circumstances.”
IMFC wore a black armband for the game, honouring teammate Karl W. Ouimette, who lost his sister earlier this week after a 12-year battle with Leukemia.
The Impact will host Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and the LA Galaxy on Wednesday at 7:30pm EDT at Stade Saputo. Excellent tickets are available via ticketmaster.ca.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Eric Miller, Wandrille Lefèvre, Matteo Ferrari (Heath Pearce 45’), Krzysztof Krol (Maxim Tissot 67’); M-Calum Mallace (Jack McInerney 73’), Felipe, Andrés Romero, Dilly Duka, Ignacio Piatti; F-Marco Di Vaio
Subs not used: GK-Troy Perkins; D-Futty Danso; M-Jeremy Gagnon-Laparé; F-Anthony Jackson-Hamel
HOU – GK-Tyler Deric; D-David Horst, A.J. Cochran, Corey Ashe, DaMarcus Beasley; M-Brad Davis (Andrew Driver 83’), Ricardo Clark, Luis Garrido, Oscar Garcia; F-Omar Cummings (Brian Ownby 77’), Giles Barnes
Subs not used: GK-Michael Lisch; D-Eric Brunner; M-Alexander Lopez
HOU – Barnes 30’
MTL – Duka (Felipe) 40’
MTL – Piatti (Di Vaio) 55’
HOU – Barnes (Cummings) 62’
HOU – Clark (Davis) 65’
MTL – Felipe 71’