The first half of the game started with a penalty kick and the half should have ended with a penalty kick. The Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 victory over the Montreal Impact is clouded by a penalty call for the home team, when the referee recalled it.
But there was still a game to be played and the Whitecaps started the road game perfectly. Desperate for a win to get back into the thick of a playoff race, Vancouver got a penalty call when a ball hit Hassoun Camara's hand in the box. Kenny Miller steps up to the penalty spot and scores: 1-0 for Vancouver at the 7th minute.
The Impact had a very difficult first half as the Whitecaps played a physical game,as expected, but were able to tactically smoother Montreal. With a strong high pressing, the Cascadians annulled most of the Impact's offensive intentions.
But a beautiful volley from Patrice Bernier was blocked by a Vancouver player, right next to the goal post. The drama and controversy ensues as the referee called a penalty kick for the Impact. But after an impromptu refereeing seminar, the penalty was recalled. The decisions behind it are now known as the officials released the following statement to the Montreal Impact's ''runner'' (reporter that takes quotes)
Thank you to Olivier Tremblay, Impact beat reporter for MLSSoccer.com, for the quotes
Mr. Gonzalez decided, based on input from the entire referee crew, that there was not an intentional handling of the ball on this play. The ball deflected off a Vancouver player and a corner kick was awarded.
The controversy did not only come from the reversal of the decision but from the apparent call being influenced by the 4th referee, who was 50 meters away from the play. Was video used to make that decision? It seems not as per different tweets and opinions going around. Matter to be discussed, debated and rehashed.
No penalty call for the Impact , even though , Felipe had a scissor kick blocked by the Vancouver defence earlier in the half.
The second half started as bad as the first but without a goal being scored. Nigel Reo-Coker runs towards the box and shoots a canon of a shot, that hits Troy Perkins' crossbar. Miller almost scored his second goal of the game but missed wide.
That seemed to wake up the Impact as Patrice Bernier and Felipe Martins both hit the crossbar. The Brazilian almost scored the MLS Goal Of The Year after his volley/side-kick hits the bar. Bernier's shot is tipped by David Ousted.
The bombarding continues as Marco Di Vaio is stopped by Ousted but so is Daniele Paponi, who came in as a substitute. But on this day, efficiency is on the side of the visitors as Camilo scores 2 unanswered goals in the last minutes of the game.
One goal was on a breakaway with a cheeky shot that Troy Perkins touched but the ball still went in. The second goal felt like a definitive nail in the coffin when the Brazilian dribbles his way , just outside the 18-yard box, and delivers a precise hard shot on Perkins.
The Montreal Impact sit currently in third place in the Eastern conference but results over the weekend might see its lead shrink considerably.
Stay tuned for more news, quotes, sounds and analysis on this game between the Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Rivalry game that we all wanted.