WASHINGTON, D.C. – In its first regular season match, the Montreal Impact lost 1-0 against D.C. United, Saturday afternoon, at RFK Stadium.
A great opportunity for the Impact turned into a counter attack goal for D.C. United in the 58th minute. Impact midfielder Justin Mapp found some space down the right flank and hammered one on goal that was stopped by keeper Bill Hamid. The counter attack on the play was started right away when Chris Rolfe played a long ball over the back line onto a rushing Jairo Arrieta, who toe poked the ball at the top of the box past the charging goalkeeper Evan Bush.
“The field conditions were not easy for both teams today and it wasn’t a situation where it was to be a good game as far as moving the ball,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. “To be fair, I think we had some very good chances and it was unlucky because it was a soft goal. A 0-0 tie would probably have been a fair result, but it’s a long season. Not every game will be like the Pachuca game.”
“On the goal, it wasn’t about miscommunication, but there was a lot of space,” said Evan Bush. “I made the decision to come forward or he would have been on a breakaway otherwise. It was a difficult ball to deal with for a goalkeeper. As a team, we could have done better on both sides of the field.”
D.C. United came close to doubling its lead three minutes after the lone goal of the game when Chris Pontius hit the cross bar.
IMFC came so close when, standing on the goal line, Conor Doyle blocked Hassoun Camara’s point blank shot in the 75th minute.
“It’s unfortunate because I think we played better in the second half and we controlled the play,” said Camara. “We had chances. I think if I score that goal we can come back with a good draw on the road. The referee told me there was a handball on the play, but he couldn’t whistle because his hand was along his body. The content was good today, we just need to continue this way and work together.”
In the first half, defender Donny Toia blasted a shot short side after Mapp played him free across the top of the 18, but Hamid made a diving save to his right in the 35th minute. Less than five minutes later, Bush also dove to stop Chris Rolfe’s blast.
Head coach Frank Klopas had made three changes to his starting lineup compared to the last game against Pachuca, as Hassoun Camara, Calum Mallace and Jack McInerney all started.
Midfielder Justin Mapp had to leave the game at the end of the second half due to a dislocated elbow.
The Impact will play its next game at home in the Champions League semifinals against Costa Rican club Alajuelense on Wednesday, March 18 at 8pm at Olympic Stadium.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Hassoun Camara, Bakary Soumare, Laurent Ciman, Donny Toia; M-Nigel Reo-Coker, Calum Mallace, Justin Mapp (Dominic Oduro 86’), Ignacio Piatti (Eric Alexander 76’), Dilly Duka; F-Jack McInerney (Cameron Porter 71’)
Subs not used: G-Eric Kronberg; D-Maxim Tissot, Victor Cabrera; M-Patrice Bernier
DCU – GK-Bill Hamid; D-Chris Korb, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, Sean Franklin; M-Chris Rolfe (Miguel Aguilar 77’), Perry Kitchen, Davy Arnaud, Nick DeLeon; F-Jairo Arrieta (Michael Farfan 90’), Chris Pontius (Conor Doyle 66’)
Subs not used: GK-Andrew Dykstra; D-Kofi Opare, Luke Mishu; M-Jared Jeffrey
DCU – Arrieta (Rolfe, Arnaud) 58’