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Tic-Dribble-Tac-Toe : Montreal Impact's 2nd goal vs Colorado Rapids

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Although the game resulted in a loss for the Montreal Impact, Les Bleus/The Azzurri still gave some emotions to their fans as they scored 2 superbly constructed goals. From Felipe Martins' back-heel pass to Patrice Bernier to a beautiful web of passes to get Andrew Wenger on the scoresheet, the Impact have obviously gotten better with the ball and we will see as we analyse the 2nd goal, how the team has gotten better without the ball.

As soon as Bernier gets the ball, he quickly looks up to find who to pass the ball to. The Colorado Rapids midfield is not aligned and compact creating intervals and spaces between the midfield players. There is a overcrowding of the Impact on the right side with a very in-form Nyassi. Felipe Martins does his job by finding space in that Colorado midfield and is looking to get the ball. Bernier goes for a precise ground pass to Sanna Nyassi who quickly gives it to Collen Warner with a 1-touch pass. Warner has already identified that there aren't any passes to give up front as Nyassi did not make a run and Felipe was surrounded by burgundy shirts.

Using a nice move to get rid of his marker, Warner flips around, gets some space and sees/hear Bernier asking for the ball. This is when it actually works perfectly from beginning to end: Bernier never stops running since his initial pass. As soon as he released the ball further up the midfield, he continued to run towards goal giving an option to the ball carrier, whomever it might be at that time. Warner's pass to Bernier was a sweet one and Bernier's pass to Wenger was even sweeter. Without needing to control the ball, Bernier passes the ball directly to the MLS rookie who finds himself unmarked and scores a beauty with a clinical finish.

Wenger himself did a lot of work as he didnt just stand in that spot during the whole play. He did his job as to run towards the box to be an option for a long ball for ex. and also make the Rapids defender go back and mark him. That same defender identifies Wenger but quickly is attracted by the ball that goes on the right side. That 1 second in which he lets his gaze off Wenger is enough for the latter to sneak behind him, almost stealth-like, as soon as he sees Warner get rid of his man. He identifies an opportunity and makes himself available to either Warner and also sees Bernier get the ball and is just waiting to get it: 2-2.

The whole play did not include that much running. Bernier ran the most as he had to run from the midfield to just outside the box but the actual play did not involve a lot running and the players made it simple with :

  • Movement without the ball for the ball carrier.
  • One touch passing to accelerate the play.
  • Individual skills to get unmarked.
  • Staying aware of where the offside line was.
  • The offensive play lasted 10 seconds, 4 passes in total, 11 total touches of the ball (includes the passes) and it did not involve a Messi or C.Ronaldo like run.