Bad luck in Ohio

Impact comeback falls short against FC Cincinnati

It wasn’t meant to be for the Impact, Saturday afternoon against FC Cincinnati, at Nippert Stadium. Rémi Garde’s troops know they could’ve left Ohio with at least one point in the bank after 90 minutes played against Yoann Damet – the former Impact U18 coach – and his men, but a barrage of factors led to the game finishing in favour of the Ohioans.

The task was made more difficult when the Impact conceded a goal in the seventh minute, giving the hosts an early lead and giving the crowd something to cheer for.

“On the first goal, we need to do better,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “They succeeded in maneuvering us a little too easily. We could’ve done better and gotten something out of this game. The way we finished was very good. I didn’t see the opposing team cause Evan any problems in the second, or in the first for that matter, other than the two goals we conceded.”

Similar to its midweek game in New York, Montreal found itself down a goal early in enemy territory. And just like that game in New York, the Impact fought tooth and nail to bring things level. In the 39th minute, Impact striker Maxi Urruti thought he tied things up when he redirected a cross from Daniel Lovitz into the back of the net, but the American international was called offside on the play.

After looking at the replay, if there was an offside, and that’s one big if, it was by a whisker.

“We wanted to get back into this game,” said midfielder Samuel Piette. “We did it three days prior to that game, so we knew it was possible. Of course, we feel some injustice due to the disallowed goal. But we continued to push. The second goal hurt but we still never gave up. I’m proud of the guys today. They pushed until the end.”

Down 1-0 in the start of the second, Montreal picked up the pace, spending more and more time in Cincinnati’s final third, but it was the home team that struck on the counter, doubling its advantage. The Impact’s had its chances afterwards; Orji Okwonkwo got one back in the 75th, and Anthony Jackson-Hamel had an opportunity on a breakaway, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“I thought we controlled decent chunks of the game, against a team that was fully rested and that had a lot to play for,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush. “We just fell asleep in a couple of moments and it cost us. They’re mental breakdowns on the goals that were avoidable. I think we did enough to at least get a point out of this game.”