Michael Salazar spoils the hosts’ clean sheet
HOUSTON, Texas – The Montreal Impact bowed out to the Houston Dynamo 3-1, on Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium, in Houston. Andrew Wenger, Mauro Manotas and Memo Rodriguez lead the hosts to the three points, while Michael Salazar provided a response for Montreal in a game played despite scorching heat.
“We allowed the first goal after only 30 seconds. It’s a lack of concentration that is unacceptable, but after that sequence, we had more possession and we did a few good things,” said Impact head coach Mauro Biello. “We did not do well in transition and in the little details tonight. The mental fatigue and the heat did not help, especially after conceding that early in the game. A few players fought until the end and we got good moments, but we allowed goals too easily.”
Tough start to the game
As early as the first minute, the hosts took the lead on a set piece. After a corner kick played quickly, Andrew Wenger found space in the middle of the box and sent his header in the Impact’s goal.
The Bleu-blanc-noir’s first chance came in the 20th minute from Hernán Bernardello’s feet. With a left-footed shot, he just missed the Dynamo frame.
Three minutes later, Mauro Manotas touched the ball cleverly to get free from the Montreal midfielders. He squared the ball for Alex and Houston’s playmaker took a shot across Evan Bush, beating the goalkeeper and doubling the Texans’ lead.
Impact tries comeback in second half
After the break, the Montreal squad did everything they could to come back in the game. In the 59th minute, Ballou Tabla played the ball on the overlap for Daniel Lovitz, on the left flank. His far-post cross reached Dominic Oduro, but his volley was off-target. Immediately after, Oduro crossed too, this time for Matteo Mancosu, whose header was saved by Tyler Deric.
In the 68th minute, the Dynamo took a three-goal lead. Benefiting from a lucky bounce, Memo Rodriguez, in the middle, took over possession just outside the box and scored with a precise shot.
The Montreal attack answered back just before the 90th minute. Laurent Ciman, from the left wing, sent a long diagonal ball for Michael Salazar in the box. The winger took a first-time volley with his right foot and beat Houston’s goalkeeper to prevent him from keeping a clean sheet.
“In the content, we were not up to the task. It obviously was not our best game,” mentioned Hassoun Camara. “When we concede a goal in the first minute away from home, it does not help. We really wanted to come here and take some points, but we have to look forward to the couple of days of rest and find our mentality to be ready for the second half of the season.”
The Impact will benefit from a two-week break because of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, in the United States. The Bleu-blanc-noir will play a friendly game against USL affiliate club Ottawa Fury FC on Wednesday, July 12, at TD Place in Ottawa, before returning to action on Wednesday, July 19, at 7:30pm at Stade Saputo, in a crucial game against Philadelphia Union (TVA Sports, 985sports.ca, CJAD 800 – TICKETS).
MTL – G-Evan Bush; D-Chris Duvall, Kyle Fisher, Laurent Ciman, Hassoun Camara (Daniel Lovitz 58’); M-Marco Donadel (Ballou Tabla 46’), Hernan Bernardello, Blerim Dzemaili, Michael Salazar, Dominic Oduro (Nick DePuy 72’); F-Matteo Mancosu
Unused substitutes: Eric Kronberg, Wandrille Lefèvre, Andrés Romero, Calum Mallace
HOU – G-Tyler Deric; D- DaMarcus Beasley, Leonardo, Adolfo Machado, A.J. DeLaGarza; M-Ricardo Clark, Juan Cabezas, Alex (Joseph Holland 87’), Andrew Wenger (José Escalante 79’); F-Erick Torres (Memo Rodriguez 63’)
Unused substitutes: Joe Willis, Charlie Ward, Dylan Remick, Jalil Anibaba
HOU – Wenger (Manotas) 1’
HOU – Alex (Manotas) 23’
HOU – Rodriguez 67’
MTL – Salazar (Ciman) 89’
MTL – Salazar 4’
HOU – Leonardo 12’
HOU – Clark 25’
MTL – Dzemaili 31’
MTL – Bernardello 79’