Bojan Krkic makes Impact debut
BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois – The Montreal Impact was defeated 3-2 by the Chicago Fire, Saturday night at Seatgeek Stadium. After Chicago opened the scoring with two quick goals, Saphir Taïder and Bacary Sagna were able to tie things up for the visitors, but Bastian Schweinsteiger provided the win late for the Fire, heading in a corner in the 88th minute.
“Goals conceded from set pieces made the difference tonight,” said head coach Rémi Garde. “There were two out of the three they scored. Other than that, Chicago didn’t pose us any real danger. So once again, it’s what made the difference in the end.”
The Fire opportunist
Some of the Impact’s newest recruits were already in uniform for this game against the Fire; full-back Jorge Corrales, acquired from the Fire Wednesday, made his first start with the Impact against his new team, while Bojan Krkic started his night on the bench, coming on in the 63rd minute.
It was the hosts that managed to take the lead early, in the eighth minute. After a corner swung in was deflected to Bastian Schweinsteiger, the German was able to find Dax McCarty streaking into the box, and he was able to beat Evan Bush with a powerful shot from in close.
Chicago doubled its lead 10 minutes later, in the 19th minute, when the hosts regained possession in the final third. Francisco Calvo was able to pick out Aleksandar Katai on the wing, who immediately found Nemanja Nikolic behind the defense, slotting into an empty net to double the hosts’ lead.
After a good spell of possession, Montreal was able to take advantage in the 34th minute. Rudy Camacho, in possession in Impact territory, launched a long ball for Saphir Taïder, behind the defense. The Algerian was able to get a touch on it and run in on goal, getting fouled by goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm and prompting the referee to point to the spot.
Taïder stepped up to take it, beating the goalkeeper with a shot down the middle to cut the deficit in half. It was the Algerian’s team-leading ninth marker this season.
“We took two goals on set pieces, said midfielder Samuel Piette. In the second half, we were much better than in the first half. We cannot concede two goals in 20 minutes at the start of the game like that. We have to show more desire to win these aerial duels. It’s not tactics, it’s not chance, it’s will.”
Positive play in the second
The Impact came out of the locker room with the same energy shown at the end of the first half, taking the play to Chicago and settling into their final third. In the 54th minute, they almost broke through, when centre-back Zakaria Diallo picked out Orji Okwonkwo in between two defenders, but the Nigerian’s shot missed just over the bar.
In the 63rd minute, the Impact’s newest acquisition, Bojan Krkic, replaced Shamir Shome, playing his first minutes in MLS with the Impact. Lassi Lappalainen also made his entrance, replacing Mathieu Choinière.
In the 72nd minute, Corrales was able to lob a ball in behind the defense for Lappalainen, who quickly pierced into the box and tried to find Okwonkwo in the middle, but Calvo was able to get a foot on it and clear.
The Impact finally got its equalizer in the 76th minute, when Taïder played a corner short to Corrales. The Cuban was able to swing it in and find Bacary Sagna at the far post, whose header beat Kronholm in the bottom right corner.
In the 88th minute, the Fire was able to take advantage of another corner, this time delivered by Djordje Mihailovic. Schweinsteiger was first on the delivery, heading it past Bush, who was making a 60th consecutive start for the Impact in MLS.
“We might have gotten a little greedy trying to get the third goal and defending with fewer numbers than we should be,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush. “Then they get a set piece out of a situation they shouldn’t have gotten anything out of, and it puts us away.”
The Impact will head straight to Calgary after this game to prepare for the return leg of the Canadian Championship semifinal on Wednesday, August 14, at 9:30pm EST at Spruce Meadows. Montreal will then return to Stade Saputo on Saturday, August 17, at 7:30pm to host FC Dallas, which may also be Bojan’s first game in an Impact uniform (TICKETS – TVA Sports).
MTL – G- Evan Bush; D-Jorge Corrales, Rudy Camacho, Zakaria Diallo, Bacary Sagna; M-Mattheiu Choinière (Lassi Lappalainen 63’), Samuel Piette, Shamit Shome (Bojan Krkic 63’), Saphir Taider, Orji Okwonkwo (Ignacio Piatti 80’); F- Maximiliano Urruti
Unused subs: Clément Diop, Daniel Lovitz, Ken Krolicki, Jukka Raitala
CHI – G-Kenneth Kronholm; D-Bastian Schweinsteiger, Francisco Calvo, Johan Kappelhof, Jonathan Bornstein; M-Aleksandar Katai, Brandt Bronico, CJ Sapong, Dax McCarty, Nicolas Gaitan (Djordje Mihailovic 75’); F-Nemanja Nikolic (Przemyslaw Frankowski 80’)
Unused subs: Richard Sanchez, Diego Campos, Grant Lillard, Marcelo, Micheal Azira.
CHI – Dax McCarty 8’ (Schweinsteiger)
CHI – Nemanja Nikolic 19’ (Katai, Calvo)
MTL – Taider (PK) 34’
MTL – Bacary Sagna 76’ (Corrales)
CHI – Bastian Schweinsteiger 88’ (Mihailovic)
CHI – Kenneth Kronholm 32’
MTL – Zakaria Diallo 67’
CHI – Dax McCarty 74’