HOUSTON, Texas – The Montreal Impact lost 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo, Saturday night at BBVA Stadium, a stadium where the team has still never won.
“There are certain things we weren’t able to accomplish tonight,” said head coach Rémi Garde. “We didn’t set the tone, there was a lack of movement and simplicity and we made too many technical errors to truly menace our opponent. There wasn’t enough pace on both ends of the pitch. We came here for more, so we’re disappointed. Of course, we can’t throw everything we’ve done up to now away, so we’re going to work hard at training this week and go to Orlando with a little more humility.”
The game was decided at the 85th minute, when striker Mauro Manotas, alone in front of the Impact’s goal, was able to redirect Romell Quioto’s cross to give his team the win.
“Our intensity didn’t match the one we showed in San Jose last week and individually, we were below our usual average,” said midfielder Samuel Piette. “When you make too many mistakes, you end up paying for them.”
After a first half-hour during which there was no real scoring opportunity, with only one shot finding the target for both teams, the game opened up in the following minutes. First, in the 33rd minute, goalkeeper Evan Bush dove to his left to save Memo Rodriguez’s effort.
Then, in the 34th minute, the Impact broke the deadlock when Micheal Azira crossed to the far post for Saphir Taïder, who armed a volley and put it past the ‘keeper to score his second of the season.
Less than two minutes later, though, Houston brought the two teams on level terms, Rodriguez sending a powerful shot in the top corner, leaving no chance to Evan Bush.
In the second half, the Impact dictated play with the majority of possession, most notably between the 70th and 80th minutes, without being able to take advantage of its opportunities, eventually conceding the winning goal at the hands of the home team.
Goalkeeper Evan Bush finished the contest with four saves, with Houston trying 14 shots in this one. Midfielder and Designated Player Ignacio Piatti, on his end, played his 150th game with the Bleu-blanc-noir across all competitions.
The Impact will be back on the road next weekend, this time in Florida, to take on Orlando City SC at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, March 16 at 4pm (TVA Sports, 98,5). The Bleu-blanc-noir will then have a week off due to the international break, before facing Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, March 30, at 3pm at Children’s Mercy Park (TVA Sports, TSN, CTV, 98,5, TSN 690).
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Bacary Sagna, Víctor Cabrera, Zakaria Diallo, Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Micheal Azira, Saphir Taïder (Shamit Shome 84’); F-Orji Okwonkwo (Mathieu Choinière 46’), Maximiliano Urruti (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 80’), Ignacio Piatti
Subs not used – Clément Diop, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Rudy Camacho, Jukka Raitala
SJ – GK-Joe Willis; D-A.J. DeLaGarza, Aljaz Struna, Maynor Figueroa, Adam Lundkvist; M-Boniek Garcia, Darwin Cerén, Memo Rodriguez (Romell Quioto 65’), Tomás Martínez (Tommy McNamara 74’), Marlon Hairston (Alberth Elis 57’); F-Mauro Manotas
Subs not used – Tyler Deric, Kevin Garcia, Chris Duvall, Alejandro Fuenmayor
MTL – Taïder (Azira) 34’
HOU – Rodríguez (Martínez) 36’
HOU – Manotas (Quioto) 85’
HOU – Garcia 74’
MTL – Sagna 77’
HOU – Quioto 77’
MTL – Cabrera 88'