FC Dallas reminded the Impact on Saturday night that they aren't invincible. The bleu-blanc-noir still looked good on the field, but tonight they simply weren't good enough.
Laurent Ciman and Evan Bush were their usual unstoppable selves, but Dallas kept the whole team under pressure from the start of the game. Donny Toia had some great defensive plays as well, but the best back line play of the night came in just the 6th minute. With Bush off his line, Ciman headed away a would-be goal from Maximiliano Urruti.
It wasn't massive defensive failures on Montreal's part that cost them the game. Urruti's late goal, the second for Dallas, was just a beautiful play on his part. A goal kick sent the ball long down the field, Tesho Akindele flicked it along with his head, and Urruti was able to put it to the back of the net with a single touch.
Mauro Diaz's earlier goal came from a free kick after a Cabrera foul. The Impact continue to struggle against set pieces, which we saw against Vancouver to open the season. But they still won the game that week.
The difference was a bland attack, which did them in this week. Vancouver also scored 2 goals, both on set pieces, but the Impact made sure it didn't matter with three of their own. The boys in blue didn't look bad in their attack, they just didn't look as threatening as they did over the last two weeks, and couldn't turn their threatening runs into actual danger.
Aside from a single header sent just wide, Didier Drogba (who came on in the 70th minute) was pretty invisible in his debut. Ignacio Piatti, star of both of the last two games, didn't shoot once. Harry Shipp made one attempt, but only Lucas Ontivero, with three, looked like he was consistently trying to net the Impact a goal.
Mauro Biello used late substitutions in Johan Venegas and Anthony Jackson-Hamel (responsible for the Impact's sixth and final attempt on goal) to try and keep the attack alive, and both contributed to some dangerous runs, but Dallas defended well and Montreal just wasn't getting the shots they needed.
FC Dallas is a difficult team to beat, and anyone is hard to beat on the road. If Montreal wants to continue to steal road points like they did in BC Place two weeks ago, they need to be the goal scoring monsters they were that night.
MTL: GK - Evan Bush; D - Hassoun Camara, Laurent Ciman, Victor Cabrera, Donny Toia; M - Eric Alexander, Calum Mallace, Harry Shipp (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 81'), Ignacio Piatti, Lucas Ontivero (Didier Drogba 70'); F - Dominic Oduro (Johan Venegas 85')
Subs not used: GK - Eric Kronberg; D - Wandrille Lefèvre; M - Maxim Tissot, Kyle Bekker
VAN: GK - Jesse Gonzalez; D - Ryan Hollingshead, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Maynor Figueroa; M - Carlos Gruezo (Kellyn Acosta 77'), Victor Ulloa, Michael Barrios, Mauro Diaz, Fabian Castillo (Tesho Akindele 75'); F - Maximiliano Urruti (Mauro Rosales 90')
Subs not used: GK - Chris Seitz; D - Zach Loyd, Atiba Harris; M - Juan Esteban Ortiz
DAL - Diaz, 79'
DAL - Urruti, 87' (Akindele)
DAL - Zimmerman, 34'
MTL - Toia, 43'
DAL - Figueroa, 72'