There seems to be a renewed confidence around the Montreal Impact, and it showed after a 0-0 result at the StubHub Centre on Saturday night. With a jam packed schedule over the next few weeks, going into Los Angeles and getting a point was never going to be easy, but that is exactly what the Impact did. Montreal is still sitting in the 6th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Quick out of the Gate:
"I'm happy with the effort that we put in. We managed the momentum tonight and we're happy with the result." - Mauro Biello
The Impact started the game promisingly and generated the first opportunity of the match. In the 2nd-minute Ignacio Piatti bolted through the middle and pushed the ball out to Justin Mapp on the wing. Mapp worked his way into the box and forced a strong save from Galaxy keeper Donavan Ricketts. Montreal did not stop their attack however and kept pushing forward. Just a few moments later Piatti and Didier Drogba linked up outside the Galaxy box before Piatti unleashed a hard low shot on Ricketts. Andres Romero was there to put in the rebound, however he was ruled offside by match referee Mark Geiger.
The Galaxy came close before the halftime as Robbie Keane was able to split the Impact central defenders and get in alone on Evan Bush. However the Ohio native came up with a big save before Lefèvre headed the ball over the bar.
Back Line Comes up Big:
"The back line did very well. It was a great team effort." - Evan Bush
After the disallowed goal, the tide of the match changed and the Galaxy began to boss ball possession. By the end of the match L.A. Galaxy controlled nearly 59 percent of the ball. However, the back line of the Impact played one of their strongest matches of the season, all without their all-star defender Laurent Ciman who was missing due to suspension). However Wandrille Lefèvre stepped in wonderfully for the second straight match and managed the back line like a seasoned veteran. Nigel Reo-Coker also seems to have found a new life with Biello in charge, and played a very strong match.
Fantastic point in the toughest stadium in the league this year. One to build on for sure! On to SJ... #PlayoffPush— Evan Bush (@ebushel1) September 13, 2015
"I'm very proud of the way we played against one of the best teams in the league" - Mauro Biello
Although the Galaxy dominated possession throughout the match, the Impact came close to stealing all three points in the 85th-minute as substitute Johan Venegas sent Didier Drogba in on goal. The new designated player however pushed his shot just passed the far post keeping the match 0-0. With Biello now in charge it looks like there is a renewed sense of belief within the team.
The Impact have a quick turnaround having to travel north for a match on Wednesday night against the San Jose Earthquakes. Justin Mapp who came off for Dominic Oduro early in the match could be a risk to miss out on the game in San Jose. With another match next Saturday back in Montreal against the New England Revolution Biello could rotate the squad again on Wednesday.
Game Statistics and Quotes Courtesy of the Montreal Impact:
MTL - GK-Evan Bush; D-Nigel Reo-Coker, Victor Cabrera, Wandrille Lefèvre, Donny Toia; M-Marco Donadel, Calum Mallace, Justin Mapp (Dominic Oduro 38'), Ignacio Piatti (Johan Venegas 82'), Andrés Romero (Dilly Duka 74'); F-Didier Drogba
Subs not used: GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Ambroise Oyongo, Hassoun Camara; M-Eric Alexander
LA - GK-Donovan Ricketts; D-A.J. DeLaGarza (Dan Gargan 88'), Dave Romney, Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Rogers; M-Giovani Dos Santos (Baggio Husidic 46'), Juninho, Sebastian Lletget (Alan Gordon 74'), Steven Gerrard; F-Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane
Subs not used: GK-Brian Rowe; D-Tommy Meyer; M-Mika Vayrynen; F-Edson Buddle
MTL - Reo-Coker 37'
MTL - Romero 52'