The Montreal Impact were left a frustrated bunch on Saturday night after dropping a 1-0 decision at home to Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United. After coming off a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday the Impact were keen to return to the win column, however it was not meant to be. Montreal was left to rue the fact they could not put one of their twenty-five(!) shots past Bill Hamid and must go back to the drawing board. The result leaves the Impact in sixth position in the Eastern Conference while D.C. United remain at the top and in serious contention for the Supporters Shield.
One Costly Mistake:
"They showed us how to compete in this league, in spite of seeing all those shots." - Dilly Duka
Frank Klopas shuffled the deck on Saturday night bringing in a host of new faces to the starting lineup. With the log-jammed schedule in August and the Canadian Championship first leg taking place on Wednesday something had to give. Newcomer Johan Venegas also saw his first start for the Bleu-Blanc-Noir. It didn't take long for the team from D.C. to open the scoring after Victor Cabrera was unable to control a pass from Donadel. Chris Rolfe was able to take advantage of the mistake to slot home the only goal of the match in the 13th-minute. From that point forward it was all Montreal as they dominated possession in the midfield but had a hard time generating many scoring opportunities. The best opportunity of the first half for Montreal came in the 34th-minute as Andres Romero was sent in alone on Bill Hamid, but the D.C. United keeper was up to the test shutting down the Argentine.
Frustration Sets In:
"It's frustrating for sure, but I'm extremely proud of the guys tonight" - Frank Klopas
As the match rolled on, frustration set in. Both Ignacio Piatti and Johan Venegas saw yellow cards right before halftime for unsporting behaviour and dissent. After dominating possession combined with the inability to score the Impact began to lose their cool. Of course any Impact match would not be complete without Marco Donadel joining the yellow card party, and the Italian picked up his 9th yellow card of the season in the 74th-minute. In his post-match press conference Klopas did not hide his feelings and openly criticized the officiating, a move that could see him fined and possibly suspended.
"The reality is we played a good game, but we were lacking on our finishing" - Wandrille Lefèvre
The statistic that sticks out like a sore thumb are the shots. The Impact peppered the D.C. United goal with twenty-five shots while the team from the District of Columbia only managed one. Bill Hamid was up to the test stopping quality scoring opportunities from Andres Romero, Dominic Oduro, Ignacio Piatti and Johan Venegas. Throw in two close range shots blasted over the net from Eric Miller, a couple wayward shots from Marco Donadel, and a Dilly Duka shot skied over the goal in stoppage time and the Impact left the game empty handed. The Drogba countdown is on.
The Impact play an important game on Wednesday as they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first leg of the Canadian Championship. The 'Caps are coming off a dominating performance against Real Salt Lake and it will be a very tough task for the Impact. Laurent Ciman should return to the lineup to anchor the backline against Vancouver. The Patrice Bernier saga could also take more twists and turns over the course of the next few days, hopefully with a satisfying conclusion for all parties. Didier Drogba continues to train with the Impact and could be ready to go against the Philadelphia Union next weekend. Never a dull moment around the Montreal Impact...
Game Statistics and Quotes Courtesy of the Montreal Impact:
MTL - GK-Evan Bush; D-Ambroise Oyongo, Wandrille Lefèvre, Victor Cabrera, Eric Miller; M-Calum Mallace, Eric Alexander (Dilly Duka 58'), Johan Venegas, Ignacio Piatti, Andrés Romero (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 82'); F-Dominic Oduro
Subs not used: GK-Eric Kronberg; D- Donny Toia; M-Nigel Reo-Coker, Calum Mallace, Maxim Tissot
DCU - GK-Bill Hamid; D-Bobby Boswell, Chris Korb, Steve Birnbaum, Taylor Kemp; M-Chris Rolfe (Chris Pontius 84'), Davy Arnaud, Nick DeLeon (Conor Doyle 46'), Perry Kitchenl F-Jairo Arrieta (Sean Franklin 71'), Alvaro Saborio
Subs not used: GK-Andrew Dykstra; D-Kofi Opare; M-Facundo Coria, Markus Halsti
DCU - Rolfe (Kitchen) 13'
MTL - Piatti 40'
MTL - Venegas 45'
DCU - Arnaud 64'
MTL - Donadel 74'
DCU - Franklin 78'