CHESTER, Pennsylvania – The Montreal Impact Impact lost 3-0 to the Philadelphia Union, Saturday afternoon at Talen Energy Stadium. It brings the Impact’s three-game unbeaten streak to an end, during which the team had not allowed a goal.
“We didn’t have a good game,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “We started off badly and we didn’t control the rhythm. The three goals they managed to score came during important moments in the game. I’m frustrated for my players, because I know we can be better, individually and collectively, but most importantly, we must be better.”
After a slow start from both sides, the hosts managed to take advantage of their first sight on goal, in the 14th minute. A defensive error in the Impact’s half allowed striker Cory Burke to recover the ball with space in the visitors’ final third. Burke took his time picking his corner, firing a low shot to Evan Bush’s right for the game’s first goal. It was the first goal the Impact allowed in 290 minutes of play, including 200 minutes on the road.
Montreal had opportunities moving forward, most notably in the 21st minute, when midfielder Micheal Azira sent in a cross to the far post for Saphir Taïder, but the Algerian international failed to keep his shot below the bar.
Rémi Garde’s men followed that up with another nice play 10 minutes later, when striker Maxi Urruti made himself available and passed to Harry Novillo on the right side. The midfielder managed to beat his defender with a good first touch, but his shot was stopped by goalkeeper Andre Blake.
In the 45th minute, referee Robert Sibiga pointed to the spot after he judged an Impact defender brought down centre back Jack Elliott in the box during a corner. Despite a consultation with VAR, the penalty was given, and midfielder Jamiro Monteiro calmly slotted it into the right corner to double the hosts’ lead.
“It wasn’t enough from us today,” said midfielder Samuel Piette. “It’s unacceptable. We’re frustrated with ourselves. We didn’t show up in the first half and their goals came from two mistakes on our end. We had a few chances that could’ve changed the game, but we lacked accuracy up top.”Changes during the break
Hoping to rejuvenate his team, head coach Rémi Garde opted to make two changes at the half, bringing in young players Shamit Shome and Clément Bayiha in place of Taïder and Orji Okwonkwo.
But in the 56th minute, the Union struck again. Midfielder Haris Medunjanin, in the Impact’s final third, sent in a floating ball behind the defense to a streaking Kai Wagner. The full-back immediately crossed for Alejandro Bedoya, who tucked it in past Bush, putting the game out of reach for the Montreal squad.
“We brought it on ourselves, we know that. In the first half, we made some mistakes,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush. “We could not recover properly. That pretty much sums up the game. We need to keep pushing away and figure how what it’s going to take to be more dangerous. Today, it felt like we were not dangerous, they were able to press us and we did not make them pay.”
In stoppage time, defender Kai Wagner was sent off following a video review by the referee, after fouling midfielder Mathieu Choinière.
Goalkeeper Evan Bush, making his 42nd consecutive start, played his 200th career game for the Impact in all competitions, the first goalkeeper in club history to reach the milestone. Samuel Piette, on his end, made his 45th consecutive start in MLS, tying Patrice Bernier’s record set in 2013.
The Impact will play a second consecutive game on the road this Wednesday, April 24, at 7:30pm, against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium (TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690), before playing its second game of the season at Stade Saputo on Sunday, April 28, at 12:30pm, against the Chicago Fire (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98.5, TSN 690).
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Bacary Sagna, Zakaria Diallo, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Micheal Azira, Saphir Taïder (Shamit Shome 46’); F-Harry Novillo (Mathieu Choinière 74’), Maximiliano Urruti, Orji Okwonkwo (Clément Bayiha 46’)
Subs not used – Clément Diop, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Víctor Cabrera, Anthony Jackson-Hamel
PHI – GK-Andre Blake (Matt Freese 54’); D-Aurélien Collin, Jack Elliott, Kai Wagner, Raymon Gaddis; M-Alejandro Bedoya, Brenden Aaronson, Haris Medunjanin, Ilsinho (Fabrice-Jean Picault), Jamiro Monteiro; F-Cory Burke (Kacper Przybylko 83’)
Subs not used – Fabinho, Olivier Mbaizo, Warren Creavalle, David Accam
PHI – Burke 14’
PHI – Monteiro (PEN) 45’
PHI – Bedoya (Medunjanin, Wagner) 57’
PHI – Medunjanin 62’
PHI – Burke 67’
MTL – Bush 78’
PHI – Wagner 90’