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© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Impact loses 3-1 at Red Bull Arena

The Bleu-blanc-noir back at Stade Saputo next Saturday

HARRISON, New Jersey – The Montreal Impact brought three consecutive road games to an end with a 3-1 loss against the New York Red Bulls, Saturday afternoon at Red Bull Arena. Jeisson Vargas brought his side level in the first half after Bradley Wright-Phillips opened the scoring, but two unanswered goals by the Red Bulls in the second half gave the hosts all three points.

“We need to do better,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “We need to play the entire 90 minutes like we played the first 45 minutes. We faced a really good team, a mature group with players that have known each other for a long time. On our end, we have potential. We played well in the first half, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

An encouraging Impact side in the first half

The game started badly for the visitors, who caused a turnover in midfield in the fifth minute. Florian Valot sent the ball in deep for Wright-Phillips, who finished the play with a strong shot to beat Bush.

Two minutes later, the Impact was in danger in its own end again, this time because of Daniel Royer. The Austrian tried to deflect the ball with his head, then with his foot while falling, but Chris Duvall made a goal line save before Bush put an end to the danger.

Despite these two chances, the Impact started growing into the game, resulting most notably in good opportunities in the 25th and 30th minutes, but neither Alejandro Silva nor Vargas could trump Luis Robles’ vigilance.

In the 33rd minute, Vargas, off a set-piece from 20 metres out, splendidly beat the keeper, shooting off the post and past the Red Bulls’ captain.

Five minutes before the break, Rod Fanni had to leave the game due to an injury. He was replaced by Daniel Lovitz, while Jukka Raitala returned to the position he had been playing in for a few games now, on the left of a three-man central defense. Rudy Camacho, playing his first game in his new colours, moved into Rod Fanni’s position.

“This wasn’t a good performance from the team,” said defender Rudy Camacho. “We were forced to run towards our net a lot because of the spaces left open behind us. We must to find a balance, but we also need to keep our heads high and work.”

At the very end of first-half stoppage time, the Impact had an excellent opportunity to take the lead, but Vargas, who had recovered the ball after a cross by Nacho Piatti, shot directly at Robles, unable to adjust his aim.

Second half not up to par

Back from the locker rooms, the hosts started imposing themselves more. In the 56th minute, Bush had to intervene and stop Royer off a cross from Michael Murillo. The Impact’s goalkeeper made eight saves in the game, tying a team record in MLS.

One minute later, Wright-Phillips found himself face to face with the Impact’s keeper. Bush rushed out and made the save, but the English striker regained possession and waited for Kaku Gamarra to support the attack. The Argentine took it one time to give his team the lead.

In the 76th minute, the Red Bulls doubled their lead, when Kemar Lawrence made a low pass from the left flank and found Murillo at the opposite post, who slotted the ball into an empty net.

“They made some adjustments at the break that gave their midfielders more time and space,” said defender Chris Duvall. “We didn’t put enough pressure on them and they were able to pass the ball around too easily. We have to find a way of playing 90 consecutive minutes of good soccer.”

Upcoming games

The Montreal Impact will finally be back at Stade Saputo on Saturday, April 21, at 1pm, to face expansion team Los Angeles FC in its first visit to the metropolis (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690). Afterwards, the Bleu-blanc-noir will visit Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, April 28, also at 1pm (TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690).

LINEUPS

MTL – G-Evan Bush; D-Chris Duvall, Rod Fanni (Daniel Lovitz 40’), Víctor Cabrera, Rudy Camacho, Jukka Raitala; M-Samuel Piette, Alejandro Silva, Ken Krolicki (Louis Béland-Goyette 57’); A-Jeisson Vargas (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 66’), Ignacio Piatti

Unused substitutes – Clément Diop, Dominic Oduro, Shamit Shome, Matteo Mancosu

NYRB – G-Luis Robles; D-Michael Murillo, Aaron Long, Tim Parker, Kemar Lawrence; M-Tyler Adams, Sean Davis (Alex Muyl 87’), Florian Valot, Alejandro Romero Gamarra (Marc Rzatkowski 82’), Daniel Royer; A-Bradley Wright-Phillips (Derrick Etienne 78’)

Unused substitutes – Ryan Meara, Aurélien Collin, Benjamin Mines, Vincent Bezecourt

GOALS
NYRB – Wright-Phillips (Valot) 5’
MTL – Vargas 33’
NYRB – Gamarra (Wright-Phillips) 57’
NYRB – Murillo (Lawrence) 76’

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