NEW YORK, New York – The Montreal Impact came from behind to pick up a deserved 1-1 tie, Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, home of New York City FC. Rodney Wallace opened the scoring for the locals just before halftime, but Dominic Oduro, midway through the second half, drew his team level for good.
“The team showed a great mentality today,” said Impact head coach Mauro Biello. “We unbalanced them on several occasions. We pressed a bit more in the second half and closed them down well toward the end of the game. The team was focused and aggressive enough to recover balls. We showed some good things today.”
Montreal puts together solid second half
The Impact scored the goal that earned the team a point in the 68th minute. The Bleu-blanc-noir strung passes together beautifully before Nacho Piatti and Patrice Bernier managed to get away from Alexander Ring and Jack Harrison. Bernier then lifted a splendid diagonal ball behind the defence for Oduro, who chested the ball down brilliantly before beating goalkeeper Sean Johnson with a stiff shot into the top of the net.
Bernier thus matched Felipe’s all-time record of 24 assists in MLS for Montreal. The captain also played his 15,000th minute for the club during this game, his 200th with the team since 2000.
“We were losing 1-0, but we showed character,” said Patrice Bernier. “We kept working hard. We knew we’d create chances, and we managed to get this draw against a team that tends to score many goals at home.”
“It’s always good to take a point from the home team,” added Dominic Oduro. “We defended really well, but we didn’t sit back too much. We stepped up and were able to do what we wanted to do. We’d have loved to win, but right now, everyone’s excited with the result that we got here against a very good team.”
The Impact had created a first chance in transition in the fifth minute. From a central position, Matteo Mancosu played the ball left to Piatti, who was marked tightly. Piatti was unable to move further forward and unleashed a shot that narrowly missed at the near post.
Piatti was again at the heart of a dangerous Montreal play just before the half-hour mark. Piatti intercepted an Andrea Pirlo pass and swiftly played the ball into the box, where two touches from Oduro and Mancosu kept it alive for the Impact. Piatti and Oduro then took turns to attempt shots that, in the end, didn’t trouble Johnson.
A tenacious Montreal side finally conceded a goal in the 44th minute. Although he made a save on Alexander Ring’s initial shot, goalkeeper Evan Bush had no chance of recovering as Rodney Wallace slammed the rebound home, scoring his second goal in as many games.
But the Bleu-blanc-noir threatened as soon as the ball was played again, as Piatti curled a shot that crashed onto the post before Oduro, on the rebound, forced Johnson into a save. The two teams returned to the locker rooms with the score at 1-0.
Back from halftime, the Impact showed its intentions as soon as the 50th minute. A quick attack down the right saw Bernier release Oduro, who attempted to chip Johnson despite Rónald Matarrita’s tight marking. The goalkeeper still managed to grab the ball, which he couldn’t do as Oduro scored the equalizer, a quarter-hour later.
The Impact will play the second of three straight games on the road on Saturday, April 1, at 3pm at Toyota Park in Chicago against the Fire (TVA Sports, 985sports.ca & TSN Radio 690). Following these three games, the Bleu-blanc-noir will play its first game of the season at Stade Saputo on Saturday, April 15, at 3pm against Atlanta United FC (TVA Sports, CTV, 98,5FM & TSN Radio 690). Excellent tickets for this game, as well as season tickets and mini season packages, are still available on impactmontreal.com.
NYC – GK-Sean Johnson; D-Ethan White, Maxime Chanot, Alexander Callens, Rónald Matarrita; M-Alexander Ring, Andrea Pirlo, Maxi Morález; F-Jack Harrison (Jonathan Lewis 79’), David Villa, Rodney Wallace (Tommy McNamara 84’)
Subs not used – GK-Eirik Johansen; D-Frédéric Brillant, Ben Sweat; M-Yangel Herrera; F-Sean Okoli
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Chris Duvall, Víctor Cabrera, Laurent Ciman, Ambroise Oyongo; M-Dominic Oduro, Hernán Bernardello, Patrice Bernier, Calum Mallace (Adrián Arregui 72’), Ignacio Piatti (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 90’ + 2’); F-Matteo Mancosu (Daniel Lovitz 89’)
Subs not used – GK-Maxime Crépeau; D-Hassoun Camara; M-Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla
NYC – Wallace 44’
MTL – Oduro (Bernier) 68’
MTL – Bernardello 57’
NYC – Chanot 86’