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Urruti’s Day, But Impact Fails To Hold On

Dallas do the comeback on Montreal once again... FC Dallas .... 2 IMFC .... 2

MLS: Montreal Impact at FC Dallas
Okwonkwo’s 58th min headers reaps the post, but Maxi Urruti was on hand to convert giving the Impact a 1-0 lead.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Not sure if the Impact are becoming draw specialists or a team that finds a 2-0 lead a dangerously vulnerable prospect, but either way drawing in Frisco is a pretty decent return. It may not be too satisfying for the Montreal camp at the end of this particular day, but it’s a decent outcome from a venue that’s only ever yielded defeat for Impact teams.

Seven minutes of added time proved too much when 17 year-old Ricardo Pepi popped up in the 96th minute to stab home the latest of equalizers.

It came after Ondrasek’s back-heel attempt on goal skewed to the back upright, the youngster proving fractionally more alert than Brault-Guillard who just couldn’t get there.

Dallas had been given a lifeline in the 83rd minute, Ondrasek, as at Stade Saputo last season, proving the catalyst in stealing a few yards on Fanni to head beyond the reach of a diving Diop. On that night Dallas came back to share the points after being three down. Yesterday’s mountain was slightly less imposing, but again the home side’s resolve ensured a repeat.

MLS: Montreal Impact at FC Dallas
Zdenek Ondrasek towers above Samuel Piette. The Polish striker proved troublesome once again for Montreal Impact...
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Until that point, the second-half had been the Maxi Urruti show. Montreal’s much maligned striker now sits proudly at the top of the MLS scoring charts with three in two games, three-quarter way to last season’s total already.

He chose this visit to his old stomping ground, Urruti’s first return there, to record a first brace as a Montreal player. Neither goal would enter his catalogue of most spectacular strikes, but you have to be in the right pace at the right time, and perhaps Urruti’s move to the right channel provokes this instinct. Time will tell.

The most significant play of a difficult, but scoreless first-half for the visitors, involved Ondrasek’s long ball to Barrios, the Colombian outsmarted a pair of Impact defenders, before laying off for Ferreira. Clement Diop however, left one on one and advancing from his goal-line, managed to block the attempt with his right boot.

Due to what Bojan described as a ‘last minute muscle inconvenience’ in his twitter account, Montreal begun the afternoon with Anthony Jackson-Hamel in the central striker’s position, but once again the Quebecer proved ineffective. Okwonkwo, his replacement in the 58th minute, wasted no time making a mark, although just a minute later he probably should have scored with the header he rapped against the post. But it did rebound to Urruti who broke the deadlock.

Urruti’s second goal was created by Brault-Guillard, whose ball into the box took two ricochet’s of opponents’ legs before setting up Urruti for a straight-forward chance. Montreal’s Argentinian celebrated neither goal against his old club.

MLS: Montreal Impact at FC Dallas
Maxi Urruti receives the congratulations of team-mates after scoring his first goal.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Satisfied yet frustrated all at the same time, coach Henry had this to say -

”It looks a bit like the Saprissa game, it’s frustrating because we were leading 2-0, but at the finish, it’s a good point.

”Depending on the face of the game, let’s be honest, they deserved to score.

”We may not have allowed these two goals, but we could also have given three or four to Dallas in the first half. The players came back in the second half playing as I want and respecting their positions. “

And on Urruti...

”Maxi doesn’t have to score to play well, but he’s scoring right now, and people are going to keep talking about it.

”I’m going to keep talking about how he plays, how he works and what he brings to the team. If he scores more, so much the better.“

Dallas coach Luchi Gonzalez said he was disappointed not to get all three points, that his team had experienced a low in the second-half, but commended his players for their comeback, going on to say, “... had here been another five minutes, they’d have found a way to win this match.” You wonder how much time the coach would like considering the second-half already did last seven minutes longer than regulation!

Impact captain, Samuel Piette probably summed proceedings up perfectly...

”Of course the first thought that comes to us is that we allowed these two goals late in the game. But on the other hand, it’s very difficult to take points here so it’s not a bad point.“

Montreal next face MLS opposition on March 21, when they travel to in-form Minnesota. before that of course it’s the double-header with Olimpia of Honduras. They will be hoping that Bojan has returned to full fitness for that one.

FC Dallas, unbeaten with 4 points from two matches played, travel for a date with New York City FC in The Big Apple next Saturday.

Line-ups -

FC Dallas - Gonzalez - Cannon, Hedges, Ziegler, Hollingshead - Tessman (Pomykal, 62), Thiago Santos - Barrios, Ferreira (Pepi, 76), Picault (Mosquera, 62)- Ondrasek

IMFC - Diop - Waterman, Fanni, Binks - Brault-Guillard, Piette, Taider, Corrales - Urruti (Sejdic, 87), Jackson-Hamel (Okwonkwo, 58), Quioto (Shome, 86)

Match Officials -
Referee - Victor Rivas
Asst Refs - Ian McKay, TJ Zablocki
Fourth Official - Ramy Touchan
VAR - Sorin Stoica
Asst VAR - Craig Lowry

Attendance 15,865