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Chivas USA 2 - Montreal Impact 1 : We have seen this story before

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The Montreal Impact leave Carson,California with 0 points against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center. On one side, we saw substitutions that paid dividends with Jorge Villafana and Juan Pablo Angel, as boh connected for the winning goal for the Goats. On the other side, the Impact did not get much improvement from its substitutions as per game impact and influence.

Chivas USA opened the scoring in the 14th minute via Cesar Romero on a corner kick after some loose marking in the box by Montreal. Set piece defending has not been the Impact's forte and it partly showed on that goal. After a difficult and cagey start of the 1st half, Montreal started to play better with short passes and quick transition and were rewarded when Felipe Martins tied the game at the 42nd minute.

The 2nd half saw a much more ambitious and dangerous Impact team in control of the game with a potential to score a 2nd goal. A lack of killer finishing and some defensive mistakes prevented Montreal to put Chivas USA in a corner but the host team made substitutions at the end of the game paid big time dividends for the hosts. Jesse Marsch made his own substitutions earlier that seemed counter-productive with the biggest critic coming from Justin Braun replacing Patrice Bernier. The ex-Chivas USA striker did not give satisfaction to put himself in a position to score or create something when the game was tied and when trailing afterwards.

At the end, these are coaching choices that are an appreciation of a man on his team's form and what he wants to see on the field.

First Half:

The first 20 minutes of this half was signed Chivas USA as the Goats took advantage of being at home and took on the Impact aggressively with high pressure without the ball and playing very quickly upfront. Chivas USA were able to get quickly to Donovan Rickett's box with nice combination, short quick passes and a very active James Riley on the right flank.

Montreal picked up the pace when we saw Andrew Wenger shows his speed and physical presence as he breezed through the Chivas USA defense. His 1-on-1 vs Dan Kennedy was unsuccessful as the MLS rookie saw his left-footed shot blocked by the goalkeeper, at the 38th minute. I wouldn't say that Wenger lacked finishing as Dan Kennedy was quite aggressive and cut off the angle pretty quickly. Four minutes later, Felipe Martins smartly re-directs a nice Davy Arnaud cross from the right flank and beats Kennedy to tie the game.

Second Half:

The second half was not as smooth and intense as the first half as Chivas USA had most of the chances including Cesar Romero that came close to putting Chivas ahead. At the 61st minute, his point blank went barely wide to the right of Ricketts' goal. Both teams were not really going for it and players on the pitch didn't mind going for the tie.

Angel and Villafana came in and changed that momentum and Chivas USA sealed and took all 3 points. Felipe Martins almost tied the game on a last minute free kick but it went a bit high over the bar and Dan Kennedy was on it.

Game Notes :

  • It's too early to miss Matteo Ferrari as Shavar Thomas and Nelson Rivas did their job properly. Thomas and Jeb Brovsky made 2 great tackles in the box to block almost-assured goals.
  • Donovan Ricketts made his regular show stopped saves but was a bit dissapointing on Juan Pablo Angel's game winning header as his effort was under-par for his experience and caliber.
  • Statistics shows an advantage for the Montreal Impact but at the end, it's what you do with the ball

A Few Quotes

Jesse Marsch, Head Coach:

We knew what the job was. For the most part I thought we had that under control, but we weren't good enough on set pieces. That's what we have to keep working on, not giving it away.

Davy Arnaud, Captain

We've seen this story too many times this year.We played well enough to come out of here with a result. We' have to find way to make sure we get those points.

Game Stats

Chivas USA Montreal Impact
13 Attempts on Goal 13
4 Shots on Target 4
5 Shots off Target 5
4 Blocked Shots 4
4 Corner Kicks 4
16 Fouls 13
15 Open Play Crosses 12
3 Offsides 1
2 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
32 Duels Won 40
44% Duels Won % 55%
430 Total Pass 458
83% Passing Accuracy % 81%
48.8% Possession 51.2%