With the Fire enjoying much of the possession in the first half, Bush was forced to make a number of saves, including two of the spectacular variety.
“We fought hard,” said Mauro Biello, who ran the bench as Frank Klopas served a one-game suspension. “Early on, they had a lot of possession, but we battled back and overall it was a hard fought tie. It was nice to finally end the losing streak on the road.”
In the 9th minute, Quincy Amarikwa found some space in the box and placed a nice header towards the opposite corner, but was frustrated as Bush dove to his left to rob the Fire man of his 9th goal in 2015. With just a couple of minutes remaining in the first half, Bush repeated his spectacular exploit, robbing Sinama-Pongolle from point blank range.
Although the bleu-blanc-noir improved possession stats, the second half played out much the same as the first, with Bush stealing the spotlight once again in the 66th minute, soaring to block a Jeff Larentowicz free-kick from 20 yards out.
“It’s not the style of play that we prefer, but sometimes you have to grind out results in this league,” said defender Heath Pearce. “I thought we competed well in the second half. We scrapped it out and when you compete, you get a result.”
The Impact did manage a good scoring opportunity in the 34th minute, when Gorka Larrea was played through by McInerney, but his short angle shot was stopped by Sean Johnson.
With 10 minutes left, Calum Mallace came close to grabbing all three points when he used a spin move to take command of a ball that came from Dilly Duka down the right flank and forced Johnson into a big save.
Then in stoppage time, Issey-Nakajima-Farran curled a long distance bomb around the Fire backline that would have sprung Marco Di Vaio alone in on goal, but Johnson came charging outside his box to preserve the tie for the home side.
Midfielder Justin Mapp became the 54th player in MLS history to reach the 20,000 minutes played mark, while midfielders Ignacio Piatti and Patrice Bernier missed the matchup due to injuries.
“It was probably not the best match to watch,” said Mapp. “We played in tough conditions, as the field was not in good shape and it was cold. We wanted to keep the clean sheet and we did, but unfortunately we could not find that goal.”
Before returning to Montreal, the Impact will face the Fire on Monday in a Reserve League game. The team will then play its next match in Montreal versus the New England Revolution at Stade Saputo on Saturday, October 11, at 4pm EDT. It will be the second to last game for Marco Di Vaio in Montreal.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Hassoun Camara, Heath Pearce, Matteo Ferrari, Eric Miller; M-Calum Mallace, Gorka Larrea, Andrés Romero, Dilly Duka (Issey Nakajima-Farran 90’), Justin Mapp (Felipe 72’); F-Jack McInerney (Marco Di Vaio 65’)
Subs not used: GK-Maxime Crépeau; D-Futty Danso, Krzysztof Krol; M-Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé
CHI – GK-Sean Johnson; D-Lovel Palmer, Bakary Soumare, Jeff Larentowicz, Gonzalo Segares; M-Alex (Harry Shipp 17’), Logan Pause, Matt Watson, Patrick Nyarko (Sanna Nyassi 62’); F-Florent Sinama-Pongolle (Matthew Fondy 79’), Quincy Amarikwa
Subs not used: GK-Kyle Reynish; D-Patrick Ianni; M-Benji Joya, Chris Ritter
Cautions MTL – Camara 65’ CHI – Segares 88’