BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois – With an 87th minute equalizer by Academy product Maxim Tissot, the Montreal Impact tied the Chicago Fire 2-2 at Toyota Park, Saturday night, ending a stretch of five games in 15 days. Designated Player Marco Di Vaio also scored his league leading 19th goal of the season.
With only five games remaining in the regular season, the Impact remains in third spot in the Eastern Conference with 46 points in 29 games, behind the New York Red Bulls (51 points) and Sporting Kansas City (48 points), who lost 1-0 to the Philadelphia Union on Friday.
The Impact found the game’s first goal in the 25th minute when team captain Davy Arnaud, who found some space right down the centre of midfield, played Di Vaio with a low through ball just outside the box. Di Vaio took two quick touches before he fired a low left-footer that beat Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson to his left.
The Fire tied things up in the 57th minute when Mike Magee scored his 17th of the season. Midfielder Alex, dribbling through midfield, played a long ball that was deflected and landed on the foot of Magee, who was behind the Impact defensive line.
The Fire took the lead in the 73rd minute when Magee was able to steal the ball from Impact keeper Troy Perkins in the 18-yard box before putting the ball into an empty net.
Defender Maxim Tissot, who came on to replace Andrew Wenger on the left wing in the 67th minute, scored his first career goal as a pro in the 87th minute. Taking advantage of a poor clearing attempt by a Fire defender, Tissot beat Fire keeper Sean Johnson far post with a header from in close.
Midfielder Justin Mapp played in his 50th game in an Impact uniform while defender Matteo Ferrari made his 50th career start in MLS.
With Felipe out of the lineup due to suspension and Alessandro Nesta out with an injury, the Impact made some changes to the starting lineup, including the first career MLS start for Wandrille Lefèvre and a start for Andrew Wenger in midfield.
An important point on the road
"We played a very intense game with a lot of emotion," said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. "Our players gave their all today on the field and we believed until the end. We were also disciplined. We came out and responded well tonight. There a lot of positives we can take into our next game in Houston."
"It's good to get a point on the road and to keep distancing ourselves from the teams behind us in the standings," said defender Wandrille Lefèvre. "We knew they were going to come out hard in the second half. Unfortunately, they scored two goals but we still managed to come back in the game."
"Scoring my first goal was great because we managed to get an important point," added Maxim Tissot. "I played in the midfield last year with the Academy, so I was prepared mentally."
In the 44th minute, defender Wandrille Lefèvre threw himself on the ground to block a point blank shot by Mike Magee that bounced harmlessly into the hands of Impact keeper Troy Perkins.
Perkins then blocked a header by Mike Magee in the 53rd minute after midfielder Arevalo Rios found him with a corner kick.
Magee hit the cross bar from the spot in the 78th minute after a foul was called in the 18-yard-box. The Fire came close to scoring a third in the 82nd minute when a Juan Luis Anangono strike hit the post after Perkins made the initial stop. The Fire Designated Player got to his own rebound and fed Magee in the slot, but his shot was blocked by defender Hassoun Camara on the goal line.
These two clubs will meet again on Sunday, at 11am (ET) in MLS Reserve League play, at the Toyota Park training field.
The Impact will then play a rare Friday night game at BBVA Compass Stadium against the Dynamo in Houston, on October 4 at 8:30pm ET.
MTL – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Jeb Brovsky, Wandrille Lefèvre, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara; M-Collen Warner (Daniele Paponi 76’), Patrice Bernier, Davy Arnaud, Andrew Wenger (Maxim Tissot 67’), Justin Mapp (Andrés Romero 71’), F-Marco Di Vaio
Subs not used: GK-Evan Bush; D-Karl W. Ouimette; M-Andrea Pisanu, Sanna Nyassi
CHI – GK-Sean Johnson; D-Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Jeff Larentowicz, Gonzalo Segares; M-Patrick Nyarko, Logan Pause (Alex 45’), Egidio Rios, Dilly Duka (Chris Rolfe 45’); F-Mike Magee, Juan Luis Anangono
Subs not used: GK-Paolo Tornaghi; D-Hunter Jumper; M-Wells Thompson, Joel Lindpere; F-Quincy Amarikwa
MTL – Di Vaio (Arnaud) 25’
CHI – Magee 57’
CHI – Magee 73’
MTL – Tissot 87’
CHI – Pause 19’
MTL – Arnaud 70’
CHI – Magee 84’