MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact came from behind to earn a point against the New York Bulls, playing to a 2-2 draw in front of 24,071 spectators at Olympic Stadium Saturday afternoon, in a game largely dominated by the home side.
For the first time this season, the Impact scored the game’s opening goal in the 5th minute. Midfielder Felipe played the ball behind the Red Bulls defence to Andres Romero, who was making a run towards the top of the box. The Argentine midfielder took one touch before curling a right-footed shot towards the far corner that caressed the post, beating Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles.
The Red Bulls tied it up in the 30th minute when midfielder Lloyd Sam played a cross through the box that found Johnny Steele, who lunged forward to redirect the ball across the goal line.
New York scored its second goal in the 34th minute when Steele intercepted a cross-field pass and played a through ball for Peguy Luyindula. The Frenchmen made no mistake, beating Impact keeper Troy Perkins to his right.
The Impact found the equalizer in the 60th minute when Justin Mapp played a cross from near the right side corner flag that found Felipe streaking past the penalty spot. The Brazilian midfielder headed the ball toward the far corner to score his first of the season and 100th Impact goal in MLS history.
“If you look at just the numbers, we have 21 attempts on goal to 13 for New York,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. “We have been talking all week about transitions and playing the ball quick to our forwards and finding the gaps in between. In the second half, we had more possession and the guys really pushed the game and scored some fantastic goals. For now, we have to keep working and stay positive.”
“We had numerous chances and better play early on and in the second half as well,” said Justin Mapp. “We just had a couple lapses again and let them back in the game, giving them some confidence to move forward. But those are three points we should have got, for sure. I thought the boys battled well.”
“When we don’t win, I am not happy because the important thing is to get three points,” added Felipe, the Videotron Player of the Game. “When we don’t get three points that doesn’t mean a lot if we score or not. But we still got a point today, so we will look forward to the next game to get our win.”
In the 11th minute, Di Vaio beat his marker along the goal line and fired a shot that’s stopped by Robles, with the rebound falling to Romero, but his shot is cleared off the line by a defender. Fifteen minutes later, Felipe won the ball at the top of the box, laying it off for Justin Mapp, but his shot is also grabbed by New York’s goalkeeper.
Two minutes into the second half, a penalty kick was awarded to the Red Bulls, but Luyindula hammered his shot off the post.
The Impact dominated the game in almost all statistical categories, including attempts at goal (21-13), shots on target (12-5), duels won (46-35) and possession (54%).
The Impact and the Red Bulls will also meet in an MLS Reserve League match, Sunday at 10:30am at Olympic Stadium. The game is open to the public and admission is free.
The Impact plays its final game at Olympic Stadium next Saturday, April 12, at 4pm EDT, against head coach Frank Klopas’ former team, the Chicago Fire.
MTL – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Heath Pearce, Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Eric Miller; M-Hernan Bernardello (Patrice Bernier 72’), Collen Warner, Justin Mapp, Felipe (Santiago Gonzalez 90’), Andrés Romero (Blake Smith 85’); F-Marco Di Vaio
Subs not used: GK-Evan Bush; D-Jeb Brovsky, Karl W. Ouimette; M-Calum Mallace
NY– GK-Luis Robles; D-Kosuke Kimura, Ibrahim Sekagya, Armando (Matt Miazga 84’), Roy Miller (Dax McCarty 46’); M-Lloyd Sam, Eric Alexander, Peguy Luyindula (Connor Lade 90+5’), Bobby Convey; F-Bradley Wright-Phillips, Jonny Steele
Subs not used: GK-Ryan Meara; D-Chris Duvall; M-Michael Bustamante; F-Ruben Bover
MTL – Romero (Felipe) 5’
NY – Steele (Sam, Kimura) 31’
NY – Luyindula (Steele) 34’
MTL – Felipe (Mapp) 59’