It was not a fun win night for the Montreal Impact and its fans at Toyota Park. Marco Di Vaio has now scored 5 goals in Major League Soccer and had a few chances to get more. It was a tale of two halves in the game as the momentum literally shifted from one to team to another.
The Impact defense, usually it's strong point for a few weeks now, made basic mental mistakes that cost dearly at the professional level. The midfield had ball possession but not enough solutions in the last 20 meters against a united and organised Chicago team.
More after the jump
20' : Marco Di Vaio
34' : Sherjill MacDonald
61' : Alex
80' : Alvaro Hernandez
Montreal Impact: GK - Troy Perkins; D - Hassoun Camara, Alessandro Nesta (Jeb Brovsky 81'), Nelson Rivas (Justin Mapp 65'), Matteo Ferrari; M - Collen Warner (Andrew Wenger 73'), Patrice Bernier, Sanna Nyassi, Davy Arnaud, Felipe ; F - Marco Di Vaio
Subs not used: GK - Evan Bush; D - Dennis Iapichino; M - Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Lamar Neagle
Chicago Fire: GK - Sean Johnson; D - Jalil Anibaba, Arne Friedrich (Dan Gargan 41'), Austin Berry, Gonzalo Segares; M - Patrick Nyarko, Logan Pause, Alex, Alvaro Fernandez (Wells Thompson 83'); F - Chris Rolfe, Sherjill MacDonald (Dominic Oduro 77')
Subs not used: GK - Paolo Tornaghi; D - Hunter Jumper, M - Corben Bone, Michael Videira
Montreal Impact Head Coach Jesse Marsch
On what happened to the team after the Fire scored the first goal:
"We wouldn't sustain it. They got themselves going after we scored, and we couldn't sustain ourselves. We went through a period in the first half and then we were on our heels, and we looked a little tired, and it winds up resulting [in a goal.] From the bench, we're just hoping we can hang on a little bit and survive the period. We don't, we give up a goal, but still the first half was a pretty even game. Second half we actually have a good start to the half, and we're doing fine. We're on top of them a lot, and we basically give away a goal. Then the game changes. We tried to make some changes to insert some attacking energy, and while we are doing that, we give up the third [goal.] It's frustrating because this was an important match for us. In the second half we feel like we gave it away."
On the frustration of the defensive mistakes leading to goals:
"Yes. All year long we've been trying to figure out how to eliminate the mistakes. And it's not easy, because they come from different areas, and they come in different ways. That part has let us down. That part has been, more often than not, has been the reason why we have lost games."
On the disappointment of Nesta's mental lapse that led to a goal:
"There's nothing much to say about that. In the first half, it was a good game. First half was a good game. It had good pace to it. That's what games are like when you come down the stretch. These are important games. In the beginning of the second half, it was good for us. We don't manage the lead. I do think there were some potential penalties in there that we don't get. But when you go on the road; and this has been the case for us all season. You feel like there has been little things that haven't gone our way. Felt like there could have been some penalties."
On whether he still believes the team can make the playoffs:
"Yes, listen, we're not out of it, we're still alive. Each time we drop a game it makes it that much more difficult. But mathematically, we are certainly still alive. We are going to continue to push this thing all the way. All the way."
On whether he feels the team has to win 4 games to qualify:
"Yes, probably. We've done it once this year, so we are going to have to do it again. It's a big challenge for us."
Montreal Impact Captain and Midfielder Davy Arnaud
On when the team lost control of the match:
"I think when they got the second goal. I thought up to that point we were pretty good. We were pushing the ball, and we created quite a few chances. We didn't give them a ton of clear cut chances. I think the second goal for them hurt us."
On not managing to keep a lead:
"It's disappointing because I felt like we did a good job getting leads and scoring goals on the road. It's not easy. We had another lead tonight. After we gave up the first one, okay, we come into the locker room even at halftime. I thought we started the second half fine and then they get the second goal. From that point, it becomes really tough for us after that."
On whether the second goal knocked the wind out of the team:
"I think it did a little bit. But having said that, we still kept pressing, we had some decent chances and then the third goal comes and obviously it's pretty much over at that point."
On the importance of tonight's game:
"We knew how important this game was for us tonight. I think that's the hardest thing to swallow. It was an extremely important game. And the end of the day, there's still twelve points on the board for us. If we can go out and get twelve points, which we've done, we've rolled out five games in a row this year already. I don't see any reason why this team isn't capable of going on and winning the last four games. It's all we can do and hope that it's going to be enough."
Montreal Impact Goalkeeper Troy Perkins
On needing every point from here on out:
"We needed those three points. It's not a good situation to be in. We still have to go in and fight. We have to take it one game at a time, and see who can do us some favors. "
On how the game changed out of the Impact's favor so quickly:
"I don't think we regrouped very well. Bad giveaway in the middle and we should have probably played back out the other side instead of playing it back in the middle at that point. It cost us. We have to say at that point, there's still close to 25 minutes left in the game, we have to say, fine, we're going to come back and get another one and be happy with that. We have to pick ourselves up better."
On the team's outlook with four games left:
"We will look to get three points at home and then we can reevaluate where everything is. And that's it."
Chicago Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas
On the 3-1 victory over the Impact:
"It was a very important game and a good win for the team, epecially having the mid week game. I told the guys that it's good that we're playing and that we're in a rhythm, because we played a really good team. It was a good game for both sides. They (Impact) needed this, so this was a big win. Obviously in the first half they scored. They started off the game well, with that long ball, but our team responded well. We believed in ourselves, and we kept playing. We never really panicked. We scored some very good goals, and it was a very good win against a very good team. Now we have an opportunity to regroup, train, and get ready for another tough opponent next week at home.
"Di Vaio, for me, it's his movement off the ball. He is a very clever player. From a tactical standpoint, we brought Logan a little bit deeper because we didn't want Felipe finding those pockets between our backline. When Felipe gets the ball, he combines really well with DiVaio. They play a long ball, and Kamara heads the ball. I think that our shape in the back could be better and DiVaio scored. He is a great forward and scored a fantastic goal. That happens in a game, but it's only one play, and the game is not over. It's not the last mistake were going to make so the important thing to do is to learn from everything, and that's what the guys did.
Alvaro Fernandez, Chicago Fire Midfielder
On scoring two goals in two games:
"It was just circumstances of the match, sometimes you have chances to contribute and sometimes you don't. I was fortunate this time to be able to finish."
On communication with his teammates:
"I think as games go on communication has definitely improved. My teammates have gotten to know how I like to do things and I have gotten to know how they like to do things, so definitely as time goes on communication is something we've improved upon."
Alex, Chicago Fire Midfielder
On playing against Felipe:
"I played for one year in Switzerland with him and he came over here. He came to MLS first and I followed him, but we're pretty good friends so I was happy to be able to take the field against him."