MONTREAL – After fighting back to tie the game at two before the end of the first half, the Montreal Impact fell to the visiting Portland Timbers 3-2 on Sunday night, at Stade Saputo, when midfielder Diego Valeri scored late in the game.
“We are fragile right now,” said Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello, who ran the bench in the absence of Frank Klopas, serving a one-game suspension. “As much as it’s on the field, it’s mental as well. We can’t allow three goals at home and expect to win the game.”
IMFC got off to a slow start, but the home team managed to find the game’s opening goal on a counter attack, with Justin Mapp playing Andrés Romero at the top of the box. The Argentine dribbled around a defender and fired it top corner, far post in the 13th minute.
The Timbers then took the lead scoring two goals just six minutes apart. The first came when Maximiliano Urruti poked one home from inside the box in the 34th minute. Then, Canadian Will Johnson beat Evan Bush on a penalty kick six minutes later.
Despite the setback, the bleu-blanc-noir got one back when midfielder Maxim Tissot converted with his left foot after being the recipient of a beautiful passing play between Bernier, Felipe and Mapp.
With little action in the second half, the visiting side took advantage of a loose ball about 20 yards out when Valeri fired a low shot that dipped passed Bush for the game winner.
“We let the game get a little bit too open looking for the winning goal and that hurt us,” explained Evan Bush, making his first start at home in MLS play. “We got stretched a little bit on the third goal, and then I managed to get a fingertip to the ball, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to push it around the post.”
“We have to look to get points in our next games,” added Bernier. “Things can change quickly, but we are in a tough place right now. We have a derby game against Toronto FC and with a good result, we can attack head on the Champions League and maybe gain some momentum.”
Defender Futty Danso made his first start in an Impact uniform, coincidentally against his former team.
The Impact will play its next game on August 2, at Stade Saputo against Toronto FC 5pm before hosting C.D. FAS in the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday, August 5.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Hassoun Camara, Futty Danso, Heath Pearce, Krzysztof Krol; M-Patrice Bernier, Felipe (Santiago Gonzalez 86’), Andrés Romero, Justin Mapp, Maxim Tissot (Calum Mallace 86’); F-Jack McInerney (Marco Di Vaio 63’)
Subs not used: GK-Troy Perkins; D-Karl W. Ouimette, Wandrille Lefèvre; M-Jeremy Gagnon-Laparé
POR – GK-Donovan Ricketts; D-Michael Harrington, Liam Ridgewell, Danny O’Rourke, Jack Jewsbury; M-Diego Valeri, Will Johnson, Diego Chara (Rodney Wallace 78’); F-Maximiliano Urruti (Fanendo Adi 72’), Darlington Nagbe, Gaston Fernandez (Ben Zemanski 86’)
Subs not used: GK-Andrew Weber; D-Norberto Paparatto; M-Jorge Villafana; f-Kalif Alhassan
MTL – Romero (Mapp) 13’
POR – Urruti (Nagbe) 34'
POR – Johnson (PEN) 40’
MTL – Tissot (Bernier, Felipe) 44’
POR – Valeri 82’
MTL – Camara 32’
MTL – Bernier 42’