Saturday night was not a pretty one for the Montreal Impact as they fell to the Houston Dynamo 3-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The loss means that the Impact find themselves squatting in the MLS basement and the only team without a victory in 2015. The Bleu-Blanc-Noir have still never won in Houston, including their infamous playoff defeat in 2013.
The match started positively for the CCL finalists as they dominated early possession. However this did not last for long and in the 15th minute Houston opened the scoring from a set piece. The perfectly delivered free kick was met by the head of Giles Barnes and slipped past Evan Bush. A set piece the Impact could only dream of.
"We gave up that set piece goal, but I think that maybe we missed an assignment," - Frank Klopas.
Montreal continued to play well in the first half and Donny Toia generated one of the best opportunities bursting forward from his defensive position. A heavy first touch pushed the ball just too far ahead of the American and the chance went begging. To give an idea of the possession difference the Impact held roughly 70% of the ball possession and generated five corner kicks going into the halftime break.
"Stupid, silly mistakes are costing us goals right now and we have to change that." - Donny Toia
Things fell apart for Montreal in the second half as the team from La Belle Province conceded two more goals. Further errors and turnovers crept into the Montreal game and the night slipped away for the Impact. Dynamo's Ricardo Clark added an insurance marker in the 72nd minute and rookie Rob Lovejoy added salt to the wound in the 80th minute making it 3-0.
"We created some pretty good chances in the first half, but we couldn't capitalize. Then the game got away from us at the end." - Evan Bush
Although the Impact put together a solid first half it is not good enough. The Impact are now the only MLS team now without a regular season win. Montreal's success in the CCL has masked their MLS performances in 2015 and in a couple weeks (win or lose) the CCL is over. No doubt the Impact are going to be left climbing a mountain to get back into the playoff picture as their next MLS match will not take place until May 9 against Portland. Coming up next for the Impact is the first leg of the CCL final against Club America of Mexico that will go April 22 at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
Game Statistics and quotes courtesy of the Montreal Impact:
MTL - GK-Evan Bush; D-Victor Cabrera (Hassoun Camara 82'), Bakary Soumare, Laurent Ciman, Donny Toia; M- Patrice Bernier (Nigel Reo-Coker 67'), Eric Alexander, Andrés Romero, Ignacio Piatti, Dilly Duka (Dominic Oduro 67'); F-Jack McInerney
Subs not used: GK-Eric Kronberg; M-Calum Mallace, Maxim Tissot; F-Anthony Jackson-Hamel
HOU - G-Tyler Deric; D-DaMarcus Beasley, David Horst, Jermaine Taylor, Kofi Sarkodie; M-Brad Davis, Luis Garrido (Rob Lovejoy 64'), Nathan Sturgis, Ricardo Clark, Oscar Garcia (Alexander Lopez 53'); A-Giles Barnes (Chandler Hoffman 90')
Subs not used: GK-Joe Willis; D-A.J. Cochran; M-Leonel Miranda; F-Will Bruin
HOU - Barnes (Davis) 15'
HOU - Clark (Lovejoy) 72'
HOU - Lovejoy 80'
MTL - Alexander 65'
HOU - Taylor 67'
MTL - Ciman 89'
MTL - Reo-Coker 90+2'