MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact and FC Dallas played to a 3-3 draw, Saturday night at Stade Saputo. After Lassi Lappalainen opened the scoring with a first-half brace, Orji Okwonkwo added a third for Montreal, but second-half strikes from Zdenek Ondrasek, Reto Ziegler and Ryan Hollingshead allowed the visitors to level the scoring and share the spoils.
“We weren’t good enough in the second half, neither offensively nor defensively,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “We backed up too much and we didn’t use our offensive weapons as well as we did in the first. We did good things in this game, but it wasn’t enough. We put in a lot of effort, but we just weren’t there in the second half.”
Impact pounces on mistakes
After playing a little over a half hour last weekend in Chicago, his first minutes in an Impact uniform, Bojan was named to the starting line-up by head coach Rémi Garde, earning his first start with his new club in front of the home supporters at Stade Saputo.
The Spaniard got his first look on goal in the fifth minute, when Orji Okwonkwo found space on the right wing before passing towards the top of the box, but Bojan’s ensuing shot went over the bar.
The Impact did manage a breakthrough in the eighth minute, thanks to Finn Lassi Lappalainen. Montreal started in its back end, getting the ball to Daniel Lovitz on the left flank, who spotted Lassi Lappalainen’s run in behind the defense. The American defender tried to pick him out, Lappalainen getting there first thanks to a defensive mistake, and he was able to tuck it past goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez to open the scoring.
Lappalainen was able to use his speed well in the 29th minute, beating his defender on the touchline and entering the box unopposed, but his low cross near the opposing net was deflected out of play.
In the 35th minute, Bojan gained possession in the final third, dribbling past two defenders before drawing a foul in front of the box. Saphir Taïder tried his luck from the set piece, but his shot flew inches over the top corner.
In first-half stoppage time, the Impact was able to pounce on another defensive mistake when a pass across the field was intercepted by Lappalainen. The midfielder was able to use his speed to get in on goal unopposed, beating Gonzalez for a second time in the bottom right corner.
It’s the Finn’s fourth goal with the Impact after just four MLS games, all scored at Stade Saputo.
“It’s very frustrating, because we were having a good game until the 60th minute,” said centre-back Rudy Camacho. “We gave them the first goal on an error as well. We’re very disappointed today, because we should’ve left with all three points.”
Evan Bush was forced into action upon returning from the locker rooms after receiving no shots on target in the opening 45, the American diving to his right to prevent a low cross from entering the danger zone in the 50th minute.
Montreal was able to make it a commanding lead in the 56th minute, scoring a third past Dallas. This time, Lappalainen provided an assist, passing to Taïder, nestled on the left flank. The Algerian looked up and provided a perfect cross into the box with the outside of his foot, and Okwonkwo was able to get there first, getting a foot on it to beat Gonzalez.
But the visitors were able to answer just three minutes later, taking advantage of a poor clearance in the Impact’s defensive end to get one back. After an attempt to clear the danger ended up with Michael Barrios gaining possession, he was able to shoot, Bush making the initial save, but Ondrasek was first on the rebound, squeezing it past Bush to make it 3-1.
FC Dallas was able to add another in the 86th minute, this time when the referee spotted a hand ball in the Montreal box, prompting him to point to the spot. Reto Ziegler stepped up, beating Bush with a powerful strike.
Finally, in the 89th minute, the visitors tied things up from a corner, Michael Barrios’ delivery finding Ryan Hollingshead in the box, who was able to beat Bush with a well-placed header.
“It was a really good game, but in the end, we’re very disappointed,” said the Impact’s new number 9, Bojan. “It’s a result we didn’t expect, but this is football, and sometimes these things happen. We’re in a moment in the season where we can’t concede goals like that off set-pieces. I think we deserved more than that at the end.”
The Impact will play the second and last rivalry game in the MLS regular season against Toronto FC on Saturday, August 24, at 7:30 pm at BMO Field (TVA Sports, TSN, 98,5, TSN 690). Another Canadian club will then visit Stade Saputo, when Montreal hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday, August 28, at 8pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports, TSN, 98,5, TSN 690), followed by D.C. United and Wayne Rooney’s visit to Montreal on Saturday, August 31, at 7:30pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98,5, TSN 690).
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Bacary Sagna, Rudy Camacho, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz; M-Ken Krolicki, Saphir Taïder, Lassi Lappalainen, Orji Okwonkwo (Ballou Tabla 71’); F-Maximiliano Urruti, Bojan (Shamit Shome 61’)
Subs not used – Clément Diop, Jorge Corrales, Mathieu Choinière, Clément Bayiha, Anthony Jackson-Hamel
DAL – GK-Jesse González; D-Reggie Cannon, Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, Ryan Hollingshead; M-Paxton Pomykal (Brandon Servania 79’), Bryan Acosta, Jesús Ferreira (Ricardo Pepi 71’); F-Michael Barrios, Dominique Badji, Bryan Reynolds (Zdenek Ondrasek 46’)
Subs not used – Jimmy Maurer, Bressan, Edwin Gyasi, Edwin Cerillo
MTL – Lappalainen 8’
MTL – Lappalainen 45’+1’
MTL – Okwonkwo (Taïder, Lappalainen) 56’
DAL – Ondrasek 59’
DAL – Ziegler 85’ (PEN)
DAL – Hollingshead (Barrios) 90’
DAL – Acosta 35’
DAL – Ziegler 35’
MTL – Okwonkwo 68’
MTL – Raitala 81’
MTL – Lovitz 90’+3’
DAL – Barrios 90’+3’