St-Jean-Baptiste Day, Quebec’s national date in the calendar hasn’t traditionally been a good date for Montreal Impact followers in the MLS years. Both games played on this date ended in defeat, one to bitter rivals Toronto FC at BMO Field in 2015, where despite taking a 19th min lead thanks to Ambroise Oyongo’s first goal for the club, they went down 1-3. Almost 25,000 watched the game.
Elsewhere that evening at least one Canadian had a good night, Cyle Larin setting Orlando City on the road to a 2-0 victory over Colorado Rapids with an opening goal just after the hour mark.
LA Galaxy were the night’s highest scorers thumping Portland Timbers 5-0, with five different scorers.
Two years on from that BMO Field defeat and on the day that Lionel Messi turned 30, Impact found themselves on the road again, to MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus. Confidence was high but a run of five games without defeat came to a shuddering halt, the Crew running out handy 4-1 winners in front of 16,592 spectators.
Federico Higuan, a constant thorn in Impact sides down through the years, was the architect of Montreal’s demise scoring his team’s first and last goals in the 17th and 88th minutes. In between Manneh and Kamara had piled on the misery for the Impact who were still level through Jackson-Hamel’s 19th minute equalizer with 20 minutes left to play.
The same evening over in Illinois Ghanaian international, David Accam was making all the noise, scoring three times against Orlando City in a 4-0 victory. Nemanja Nikolic scored the other goal.
There was football on the international stage on 24 June 2017 too, as 2018 World Cup hosts Russia continued with their dress-rehearsal for the big event by hosting the 2017 Confederations Cup.
It wasn’t good news for the Russians though, Hector Lozano’s 52nd minute winner for Mexico in the Kazan Arena condemning their hosts to a second successive defeat and denying them a semi-final place.
It was also the evening that Canadian assistant ref, Joe Fletcher managed to get up close and personal with one Cristiano Ronaldo. Fletcher was assistant to American referee Mark Geiger, as Ronaldo’s 33rd min penalty set Portugal off on a comfortable 4-0 rout of New Zealand the champions of the Oceania confederation.
One other notable development happened on this date for the Impact as Colombian international centre-back, Nelson Rivas parted ways with the club this day in 2014. After just under three years in Montreal, 13 appearances and 2 red cards. The former Internazionale man left for the Fortaleza club, back in his homeland.