In the middle of a 3-game stretch in 1 week, the Montreal Impact faced off against the LA Galaxy, in what could be the most positive game of late from les Bleus. It was not the most beautiful game from either side and Marco Schallibaum would have taken at least one point away.
Unfortunately, the effort and positive mentality on the pitch did not translate into any point for Montreal. The game ,that felt like a trap, ended being one but not for a lack of effort.
Even though the LA Galaxy was the dominant team with most of the chances, it was Montreal that could have and should have scored first.. Andrew Wenger had 2 scoring chances early in the game, symbolic of the Impact's struggles of late to score goals.
Wenger could not get a foot on Di Vaio's cross across Rowe's penalty area. A goal then could have liberated the Impact early in the game.On the other side, Evan Bush was busy throughout the game with big saves on Jack McBean and Leonardo. He was saved three times by the crossbar as Zardes, Sarvas and Keane were close to widening the gap on the scoresheet.
Around the hour mark, off a corner kick, a scramble ensues as the ball bounces off Zardes, after Villareal takes a shot. Opare is at the right place and the right time as he shoots the ball a few yards in front of Bush's goal and scores the only goal of the game.
Wandrille Lefevre almost ties the game after yet another scramble in the game. Pisanu's corner kick is not deflected all the way out by the Galaxy and Camara acrobatically keeps the alive as he bicycles the ball back into the box. Lefevre is the first player to react but his diving header is too high, as the Impact almost tied the game.
Montreal sits fourth in the Eastern Conference but is tied on points with the Chicago Fire and its next opponent the Philadelphia Union. The Union come to Montreal this Saturday in yet another do-or-die game.
MTL - GK-Evan Bush; D-Karl W. Ouimette, Hassoun Camara,Wandrille Lefèvre, Maxim Tissot; M-Hernan Bernardello(Felipe 71'), Collen Warner, Andrea Pisanu (Andrés Romero 64'), Sanna Nyassi (Blake Smith 81'); F-Marco Di Vaio, Andrew Wenger
Subs not used: GK-Maxime Crépeau; M-Patrice Bernier, Zakaria Messoudi, Paolo DelPiccolo
LA - GK-Brian Rowe; D-Sean Franklin, Kofi Opare, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant; M-Michael Stephens (Laurent Courtois 60'),Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas, Gyasi Zardes; F-Jose Villareal (Hector Jimenez 83'), Jack McBean (Robbie Keane 60')
Subs not used: GK-Brian Perk; D-Tommy Meyer; M-Pablo Mastroeni, Rafael Garcia
LA - Opare (Zardes) 68'
MTL - Warner 34'
MTL - Camara 48'
LA - Opare 69'
MTL - Romero 73'
Montreal Impact Head Coach Marco Schallibaum
On the play of Montreal tonight:
I was happy, we had a lot of young players that played tonight and we made a good point, maybe not three, but I think some decisions from the referee was against us. It is a pity, because the performance from my team was very good today.
On the magnitude of the game against Philadelphia on Saturday:
We only have two (games left), the first match is Saturday and what we need is three points. I think with this attitude today, and this force also from this team, we need this also Saturday to make this back.
On leaving some starters back in Montreal:
It was only Alessandro Nesta, the other ones were either injured or suspended, so it was only Nesta.
Montreal Impact Forward Marco Di Vaio
On how the team played different tonight compared to the last 4-5 matches:
I don't know, tonight we played a good match. But like the last five games, we didn't take a point and it is worse for us. We work a lot during the season and now we find ourselves in this position. But we have one more chance Saturday, and we have to do a very, very good job, for us, for the team, and for everybody, because we need to play together, with each other, for the fans, for the club, and we have one more important chance.
On the difficulty of scoring goals the last three games:
I don't know, maybe it is a moment. We give up just one chance tonight and we took a goal and we had maybe two or three chances in the first half to score and we didn't score. So it was a very bad moment for us, but we have to move on, we don't have time to think about this, now is the time to try and find the solution, fast, because Saturday afternoon we need to have our best game of the season.
Montreal Impact Goalkeeper Evan Bush
On the play of the defense tonight:
We have a lot of guys, especially on the back line, that haven't played a lot of minutes lately, so there was a will and a spirit. I thought we had good character throughout the course of the game. We've got to turn the corner quickly, we were hoping tonight would be that time that we would get a point of three, but hopefully we can build on the effort we had tonight and push forward for Saturday.
On the final stretch of the schedule:
You can't get tired, there are only two games left. The only reason to play these games is to get to this point, where you are in the fight for the playoffs. Obviously we have stumbled to a point we are in a playoff push now, but at the same time, if you looked at the start of the season and said ‘hey there are two games left, and we are tied for 4th or 6th right now', you know we will take that, it gives us a shot to get in the playoffs. Saturday is a six point game for sure, Philadelphia is a team that is chasing us and we need to fend them off at home.
We need to find our way at home, I think we have lost our last three games at home, we need to find the form we had early at the season at home, feed off the fans and the atmosphere that will be there on Saturday because they know it is a big game and we know it is a big game.