The Montreal Impact returned to CONCACAF Champions Leauge play on Wednesday night against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Even before the game kicked off Montreal had qualified for the quarter finals of the competition, after New York dropped points against CD FAS.
The Impact finished the group stage with ten points and New York finished second with five points. Montreal will now wait to find out who they will play in the quarter finals of the tournament.
The Bleu-Blanc-Noir has played a few forgettable games of late, and Wednesday's night game in New Jersey was no exception. With miserable weather conditions and New York already eliminated from the Champions Leauge, Red Bell Arena was next to empty.
The Red Bulls played a weakened side with their fate already decided. Montreal brought an almost full strength side minus Nacho Piatti who is still fighting tendinitis in his knee and Marco Di Vaio who was suspended for the game.
The first half did not feature many talking points as both teams traded midfield jabs. Felipe went down injured in the 12th minute and Issey Nakajima-Farran came in to replace the Brazilian. This was Nakajima-Farran's second appearance in New York in a week as he featured for Canada last week against Columbia.
As the second half started it appeared this game was headed towards a 0-0 draw, as neither team looked like breaking the deadlock. However, in the 71st minute the Impact found the back of the net through a Jack McInerney goal. Andres Romero was able to swing a hard pass across the face of the net leaving McInerney with a tap in goal.
With the game coming to a close New York was able to strike back and get the draw. The goal came through Connor Lade in the 85th minute. Both Heath Pearce and Krzysztof Krol struggled on the Impact back line throughout the night, if the Impact are to improve next season this is is a good place to start.
This was yet another late game collapse suffered by Montreal which has unfortunately plagued the team throughout the 2014 season.
The draw was a fair result as neither team looked interested in getting the victory on Wednesday night. Looking back on the game it is surprising that two goals were scored. Although the Impact failed to get the three points they will be pleased that they will be moving on to the next round of the Champions Leauge.
Frank Klopas noted after the game
There were some guys that we didn't want to risk, they looked a little fatigued so we had to make the changes we did.
The Montreal Impact finish out their 2014 MLS season on Saturday afternoon as Marco Di Vaio plays his last game against DC United.