WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Montreal Impact brought an end to its three game unbeaten streak, falling 5-0 to D.C. United, Saturday night at Audi Field. Montreal remains in the sixth and last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings, but the loss brings the Washington team to within two points of the Bleu-blanc-noir, with two games in hand.
“In the first half, I wasn’t under the impression that we would play such a horrible second. There are certain behaviours we need to correct,” said head coach Rémi Garde. “These are important games in which we need all 11 players on the field to be at their best physically, mentally, and in their aggressiveness. Today, we were outclassed by our opponent in these categories.”
Advantage Montreal in the first
Montreal’s first real break came in the 10th minute, when Nacho Piatti recovered the ball in midfield and immediately looked towards Alejandro Silva on the right. The Uruguayan ran dangerously towards the edge of the box, but his attempt was blocked by goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
But it was D.C. United that struck first, in the 17th minute. Yamil Asad, battling for the ball in front of the box, collected it and passed to Luciano Acosta behind the defense. The Argentine shot on his first touch, going across Evan Bush and off the post to give the hosts the lead.
The Impact was inches away from tying the game a few minutes later. Nacho Piatti, near the touchline on the left side, passed into the box to a wide open Bacary Sagna, but the defender’s one-time shot was luckily blocked by Hamid.
In the 28th minute, an Impact corner was cleared by Hamid to Silva, alone with space at the top of the box, but his shot went over the bar. A few minutes later, again off a corner, midfielder Micheal Azira got a chance to shoot following a scramble inside the box, but his shot was blocked.
“We had a good first half,” said midfielder Samuel Piette. “We dominated play and we created a lot of chances that unfortunately, we weren’t able to put away. This lack of opportunism hurt us in the second half, and they were able to convert their opportunities.”
Rémi Garde’s men had a few more looks on net before the end of the half, finishing the first 45 with over 60% of possession, but the Washington team was able to maintain its one-goal advantage heading into the break.
All hosts in the second
The Bleu-blanc-noir’s task was made harder upon returning from the locker room. In the 48th minute, Acosta, on the left side, looked towards the middle for Wayne Rooney. The former Manchester United man was able to control it, stepover the ball, and find the bottom right corner, past his defender and Bush’s outstretched fingertips, to give his team a two-goal advantage.
Ben Olsen’s men scored their third goal in the 63rd minute, when Wayne Rooney recovered the ball in the Impact half. The English striker made his way forward before finding Acosta, trailing to his left, who immediately passed across the box to midfielder Paul Arriola, who slotted it in to make it 3-0.
Then, in the 78th minute, Arriola scored his second of the night, receiving a pass from Acosta before beating the keeper with a well-placed shot. A few minutes later, in the 82nd minute, Rooney scored his brace as well to make it 5-0 for the hosts.
The goals mark the first time Rémi Garde’s men have allowed a second half goal since August 18, against the Chicago Fire.
“When we look back on the season, this will be the moment that we decided if we stepped up or we crumbled,” said striker Quincy Amarikwa. “I’m confident of the quality we have in the locker room, and we’re going to use this as motivation to move forward into the playoffs.”
The Impact will be back home to take on the Columbus Crew SC at Stade Saputo on Saturday, October 6, at 3pm (TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5fm, TSN Radio 690). The team will then have a bye week for the international break, before hosting its biggest rival, Toronto FC, at Stade Saputo, on Sunday, October 21, at 3pm (TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5fm, TSN Radio 690). Excellent tickets remain available on impactmontreal.com
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Bacary Sagna, Rod Fanni, Rudy Camacho, Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Micheal Azira (Jeisson Vargas 64’), Saphir Taïder; F-Alejandro Silva, Quincy Amarikwa, Ignacio Piatti (Mathieu Choinière 71’)
Subs not used – Clément Diop, Jukka Raitala, Chris Duvall, Ken Krolicki, Matteo Mancosu
D.C. – GK-Bill Hamid; D-Frédéric Brillant, Joseph Mora, Oniel Fisher (Kevin Ellis 55’), Steve Birnbaum; M-Junior Moreno, Luciano Acosta, Paul Arriola (Darren Mattocks 83’), Russell Canouse, Yamil Asad (Ulises Segura 69’); F-Wayne Rooney
Subs not used – Travis Worra, Jalen Robinson, Christopher Durkin, Zoltán Stieber
D.C. – Acosta (Asad) 17’
D.C. – Rooney (Acosta, Asad) 48’
D.C. – Arriola (Acosta, Rooney) 61’
D.C. – Arriola (Acosta) 78’
D.C. – Rooney 82’