In what was an exciting offensive contest, the Montreal Impact and D.C. United fought to a 1-1 draw, Saturday night at Stade Saputo. Matteo Mancosu opened the scoring for the home team in the fifth minute, while Yamil Asad tied it up for the visitors with a goal in the second half.
“We opened the scoring quickly, and then we became spectators,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “We played too low on the pitch, and we didn’t put enough pressure on our opponent. They gained confidence, started passing more and they played like they were the home team. Us, we watched. We put ourselves in a difficult position. I would’ve liked to make up for it in the second half, but we didn’t manage to do that.”
The Bleu-blanc-noir opened the scoring in the fifth minute, when Saphir Taïder found himself on the left of the 18-yard box and passed to Nacho Piatti, waiting at the top of the box. The Argentine’s attempt on goal deflected off a United defender straight to Matteo Mancosu, who turned and slotted it past David Ousted to make it 1-0 for the home team.
Montreal came close to doubling its lead just two minutes later, when Piatti sent a long ball for Alejandro Silva deep on the right flank. The Uruguayan winger controlled the ball and went straight at his defender, beating him to the left, but his ensuing shot hit the post to the right of Ousted and trickled out of play.
D.C. got its best chance of the half in the 20th minute, when a long ball into the Impact’s 18-yard box deflected directly to Russel Canouse, but his shot rattled the crossbar and was immediately cleared.
In the 31st minute, Saphir Taïder came close to finding the back of the net, but his powerful shot from outside the box clipped the crossbar and went out of play.
The visitors almost got themselves level in the 37th minute courtesy of their new number 9, but Wayne Rooney’s curled shot from a free-kick hit the post to Bush’s left and stayed out.
With three saves in the first half, Bush beat Troy Perkins’ previous record of 52 saves made at home in the 2013 season, the American goalkeeper having already made 56 this year with five home games left to play.
“In this league, the bottom of the table teams are very close to the ones at the top,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush. “As long as Ben Olsen’s been there, they’ve been a team that doesn’t give up. Now they have quality in the side too. If you mix that mentality with the players they have, they can hurt you.”
On the defensive in the second
Down a goal back from the locker rooms, the visitors took the game to the Bleu-blanc-noir early in the second half.
Ben Olsen’s men almost scored the equalizer in the 65th minute, when Rooney’s attempt was blocked by Rod Fanni and deflected to almost beat Bush, but the American ‘keeper was able to touch it over the bar for his 100th save of the season.
But D.C. kept the pressure up. In the 70th minute, Acosta was found on the left flank alone and crossed it low to Yamil Asad in the middle of the box, who redirected it past Bush with his first touch to tie the game.
Rémi Garde’s men were quick to answer. In the 77th minute, a cross into the opponent’s box was deflected by Ken Krolicki off the post to Ousted’s left. The rebound was almost put in by Krolicki himself, on the ground, but was blocked at the last second by a United defender.
Midfielder Samuel Piette, who started every MLS game in 2018, tied a club record held by former Impact defender Matteo Ferrari with his 24th consecutive start.
“Offensively and defensively, I think our performance today was mediocre and below expectations,” said Piette. “We started off strong, but it’s almost like we gained too much confidence. We made too many technical errors, we lost the ball for nothing and we were often second on the ball. We weren’t aggressive enough and too passive in the block. We’re disappointed.”
The Impact will fly to the Rockies to take on Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium, in Utah, on Saturday, August 11 at 10pm EDT (TVA Sports). Montreal will then be back at Stade Saputo on Saturday, August 18, at 7:30pm, when the Chicago Fire and Bastian Schweinsteiger visit for the Pride game (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690). The club will donate $1 per individual ticket purchased to the Pride Montreal organization in order to highlight this special day.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Michael Petrasso, Rudy Camacho, Rod Fanni, Jukka Raitala; M-Samuel Piette, Ken Krolicki (Jeisson Vargas, 82’), Saphir Taïder; F-Ignacio Piatti, Matteo Mancosu (Anthony Jackson-Hamel, 78’), Alejandro Silva
Subs not used – Clément Diop, Victor Cabrera, Mathieu Choinière, Shamit Shome, Dominic Oduro
DC – GK-David Ousted; D - Oniel Fisher, Kofi Opare, Steve Birnbaum, Joseph Mora; M- Russell Canouse (Christopher Durkin, 90 + 3’), Zoltan Stieber (Paul Arriola, 67’) , Junior Moreno, Luciano Acosta, Yamil Asad; F - Wayne Rooney
Subs not used – Ulises Segura, Frederic Brillant, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Travis Worra, Darren Mattocks
MTL – Mancosu 5’
DC – Asad (Acosta) 70’
MTL – Nacho Piatti 2’
DC – Russel Canouse 75’
DC – Steve Birnbaum 78’