The Montreal Impact fell to New York City FC in a first ever meeting between the two clubs, losing by a 3-1 score on Saturday night, at Yankee Stadium, ending the Impact’s two-game winning streak. In the loss, defender Wandrille Lefèvre scored his first career goal as a pro.
“In the first half, I thought we turned the ball over too much and we were off with our passes, so we never got into some kind of rhythm,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. “We were still in the game at 1-0 and we pushed and then had some momentum. We were not happy with the first half, but it’s unfortunate that a few mistakes cost us the game tonight.”
NYCFC opened the scoring in the 31st minute on a David Villa goal. Following a couple passes in the box, midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy played a lateral ball from left to right onto the path of the Spanish international, who had an easy put in for his fourth of the season.
Second half-substitute Mix Diskerud scored on a similar play after Kwadwo Poku stole the ball off of an Impact defender before playing all the way to the other side of the 18. The American international midfielder took one touch before placing it opposite corner.
Defender Wandrille Lefèvre then scored in the 89th minute after fellow centre back Laurent Ciman played a free kick into the box, where the Academy product headed it home.
However, NYCFC came right back a minute later on a defensive breakdown, this time Villa found Poku from one side of the box to the other to go back up by two.
“It was hard at the beginning to find our marks on this pitch. We were trying to play long balls in the first half, but we played much better in the second half,” said Lefèvre. “It was a great delivery by Laurent to score my first goal, but I can’t be happy because we were losing 2-0 and we still lost that game.”
“We had problems finding our way at the start of the game and the solution to counter their play in midfield,” added defender Laurent Ciman. “When you make mistakes against a talented forward like David Villa, you will pay for it. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but will have to move on quickly if we want to have a fresh start against Orlando.”
Tough start for IMFC
It was a tough first half for the Impact, as the home side found the best chances early on, first, when right back R.J. Allen played a perfect cross back post for Villa, but his header went just wide 11 minutes in. Two minutes later, the diminutive forward found a rebound in the box, but his shot was blocked by Ciman.
The best chance for the Impact came in the 37th minute. After intercepting a clearance attempt, Andrés Romero dribbled for a couple of yards before firing a low blast from outside the box that forced Saunders into a decent save, diving to his left.
Looking for more offence, head coach Frank Klopas and his staff brought on Anthony Jackson-Hamel to start the second frame, but it was the teal blue that found a quick chance early on with a Villa shot from point blank range, stopped by Bush. Moments later, striker Patrick Mullins was played in behind the backline, but his sliding attempt went just wide.
IMFC then upped the pressure, pushing into the box on a number of occasions, including runs by Romero and Reo-Coker in the 60th and 66th minutes respectively, but the final pass was left wanting.
Villa almost had his second in the 80th minute when he used a move to get past one Impact defender, but Reo-Coker came sliding across to take the ball and the Spaniard out of the play.
The Impact will return home on Sunday in preparation for its next game, versus international star Kaka and Orlando City SC at 8pm next Saturday, June 20, at Stade Saputo, with a special pricing of $12 for kids under 16 anywhere in the stadium. Click here for more details.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Victor Cabrera (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 46’), Laurent Ciman, Wandrille Lefèvre, Donny Toia; M-Nigel Reo-Coker, Calum Mallace (Patrice Bernier 70’), Eric Alexander, Ignacio Piatti (Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé 78’), Andrés Romero; F-Jack McInerney
Subs not used: GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Bakary Soumare; M-Dominic Oduro; F-Romario Williams
NYC – GK-Josh Saunders; D-RJ Allen, Jason Hernandez, Shay Facey, Chris Wingert (Jeb Brovsky 78’); M-Andrew Jacobson, Mehdi Ballouchy (Mix Diskerud 65’), Thomas McNamara, Ned Grabavoy; F-David Villa, Patrick Mullins (Kwadwo Poku 75’)
Subs not used: GK-Ryan Meara; M-Sebastian Velasquez, Matthew Dunn, Pablo Alvarez
NYC – Villa (Ballouchy, Mullins) 31’
NYC – Diskerud (Poku) 76’
MTL – Lefèvre (Ciman) 88’
NYC – Poku (Villa) 90’
NYC – Allen 52’