For the first time in a long time, the Montreal Impact had the chance to start a winning streak. Even though their previous win came in the CONCACAF Champions League and not the MLS, there was the possibility to win consecutive games for the first time in 2014.
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When the team rolled into Philadelphia to face off with the Union, you couldn’t blame players and fans alike for being optimistic about their chances of getting three points. Montreal have performed well against the Union this season, getting results in both their previous meetings (a 1-1 draw away in March and a 1-0 home victory in April).
One player for the Bleu, Blanc, Noir who would surely want to get the win is Jack McInerney. The forward was dealt from the Union to the Impact earlier in the season in exchange for Andrew Wenger. Jack Mac is leading Montreal in goals with six, but hasn’t found the back of the net since June 29th.
McInerney would get to start in his old stomping grounds, as the Impact would however be without the services of Marco Di Vaio. The Italian striker did not make the trip to Philly, electing to nurse an injury at home.
Another regular who was sitting this one out was Hassoun Camara, who was suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Eric Miller took his place at right back.
Wandrille Lefevre was given his first start since June, featuring at central defender.
The match started out in its usual, disastrous fashion for the Impact.
In the 12th minute Philly goalkeeper Zac Macmath hammered a goal kick down field, missing his intended target, Sebastien Le Toux. Patrice Bernier headed to ball back to his keeper, Troy Perkins, so he could pick it up. But Perkins wasn’t there. Krzysztof Krol, who was also back defending, thought Perkins was there and shielded Le Toux so his keeper could gather the ball.
Perkins had planted himself on the penalty spot and expected Krol to clear the ball. Taking advantage of the miscommunication, Le Toux slipped in, took the ball and found himself looking at a wide open net.
Truly, bad play from both parties involved.
Montreal had most of the possession in the first half, but couldn’t capitalize on it. Frank Klopas fielded a 4-4-1-1 formation, so while they saw a lot of the ball in the midfield, they couldn’t get it up to McInerney or the attacking midfielder, Felipe.
Every ball that went up was either too high or too far for the attackers to get to and when the half ended, the Impact still hadn’t scored.
The second half went pretty much the same way.
In the 58′, former Union player Justin Mapp had a shot from distance, but it was saved by Macmath. Mapp was later subbed for Maxim Tissot.
Five minutes later, Philly broke out thanks to some nice passing in the midfield. Andrew Wenger found Le Toux on the top of the box and the Frenchman faked his defender and put the ball passed Perkins.
In all honesty, the shot wasn’t very good at all, but Perkins over dove the ball. It was weird; he was perfectly positioned to make an easy save, but he jumped to his right and the shot went straight through the area he was standing not even a second ago.
In the 78th minute, Andres Romero sent in a cross into the box from a bit of an odd angle. Gorka Larrea leaped for it, missed and the ball fell right to Tissot, who tapped it in.
Although probably unintentional, Larrea’s jump threw off both the defenders back and the goalkeeper, which made Tissot’s tap in so much easier.
Sadly for the Impact, there was no late drama in this one.
Montreal is now on a seven game losing streak in MLS action, but the players did acknowledge that there was some improvement in this performance.
"“It was one of our best games this year and I think we were the better team,” said Justin Mapp in a press release. “It’s frustrating because we walk away with no points. I’m proud of the guys effort tonight.”"
Captain Patrice Bernier agreed.
"“It’s a tough one to take tonight after playing a solid game like this. After the first goal, we kept on pushing. We played a good second half, but we were unlucky not to tie it up.” – Patrice Bernier"
With the three points, the Union move into a playoff spot because the Columbus Crew lost to Toronto F.C. They will play the Houston Dynamo in Houston on August 15th.
The Impact, obviously, gain no ground and remain in last place in Major League Soccer. Their next game will be against the Chicago Fire at home on August 16th. Their next match in the Champions League is on Wedesnday, August 20th in El Salvador.