Playing the second of a three-game stretch in just eight days, the Montreal Impact lost a hard fought battle with the LA Galaxy 1-0 on Wednesday night, at the Stub Hub Center, in Carson California.
With the loss, the Impact remains tied for fourth spot in the Eastern Conference with Chicago and Philadelphia, and two points shy of the Houston Dynamo for third, with two games remaining on the schedule.
The Galaxy scored the game-winning goal in the 68th minute off of a corner kick. After the ball was played into the box, Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush made the initial save in spectacular fashion, diving to his right, but the rebound bounced around, was cleared off the line before falling to the foot of defender Kofi Opare, who buried his first career MLS marker.
“Overall, we played a good game so this result hurts,” said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. “We had at least four or five good scoring chances. To win, you have to score these goals. We deserved at least a point tonight but there’s no time to be sad. We must get back on our feet and face Philadelphia this Saturday. Despite the loss, our young defenders were excellent tonight.”
“We are disappointed by the result because we played a good game,” said striker Marco Di Vaio. “We had a young team on the field that fought to earn points tonight. We’ve been living the same story over the past few weeks. We have to start thinking about Saturday and get points.”
“We created good chances in the first half and they came a little bit more at us after halftime, but we couldn’t score, but we allowed another goal on a set piece,” said Evan Bush. “We played against a talented team tonight. It’s a frustrating result after playing 90 minutes like this. It burns but we have to rebound quickly.”
The Impact had a chance early on as Hernán Bernardello played Andrew Wenger through, but the Impact forward’s tough angle shot missed just wide right of goal in the 2nd minute.
Then in the 12th minute, Andrea Pisanu played a nifty through ball to Di Vaio. The Impact’s DP then played a hard pass along the ground, just out of the reach of Wenger, who was alone in tight.
Evan Bush made a huge stop in the 25th minute when LA striker Jack McBean redirected a cross from the right flank, destined for the low, short side post.
Then in the 42nd minute, Gyasi Zardes dribbled to get inside the box before firing one short post that Bush managed to get a fingertip on as he dove to his right, deflecting the ball off the post.
The Impact almost found a highlight reel goal after a corner by Pisanu into the box in the 56th minute was poorly cleared. With his back to goal, Hassoun Camara used a scissor kick to keep the ball in the danger zone, finding Wandrille Lefèvre, but the Academy product’s spinning header just sailed over the bar.
Galaxy striker Jose Villareal came inches close to scoring opposite post after he used a few steps to get across the top of the box in the 60th minute.
In the 81st minute, LA midfielder Marcelo Sarvas cut towards the top of the box before curling a left-footer that rang off of the crossbar. Three minutes later, second-half substitute Robbie Keane tried to chip Bush from inside the left part of the box, but hit the crossbar as well.
Defender Matteo Ferrari and midfielder Davy Arnaud did not make the trip to LA, serving one-game suspensions due to yellow card accumulation, while Jeb Brovsky and Daniele Paponi were out of action with injuries.
Midfielder Sanna Nyassi and defender Hassoun Camara, returning from a one-game suspension as well, played in their 50th career MLS games in an Impact uniform.
Head coach Marco Schällibaum started three former Academy defenders versus LA: Maxim Tissot, Wandrille Lefèvre and Karl W. Ouimette, while Evan Bush played his first MLS game this season.
The Impact will play its last regular season home game versus the Philadelphia Union this Saturday at Stade Saputo, at 2pm ET. The team will then conclude its season on Saturday, October 26, in Toronto.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Karl W. Ouimette, Hassoun Camara,Wandrille Lefèvre, Maxim Tissot; M-Hernan Bernardello(Felipe 71′), Collen Warner, Andrea Pisanu (Andrés Romero 64′), Sanna Nyassi (Blake Smith 81′); F-Marco Di Vaio, Andrew Wenger
Subs not used: GK-Maxime Crépeau; M-Patrice Bernier, Zakaria Messoudi, Paolo DelPiccolo
LA – GK-Brian Rowe; D-Sean Franklin, Kofi Opare, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant; M-Michael Stephens (Laurent Courtois 60′),Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas, Gyasi Zardes; F-Jose Villareal (Hector Jimenez 83′), Jack McBean (Robbie Keane 60′)
Subs not used: GK-Brian Perk; D-Tommy Meyer; M-Pablo Mastroeni, Rafael Garcia
LA – Opare (Zardes) 68′
MTL – Warner 34′
MTL – Camara 48′
LA – Opare 69′
MTL – Romero 73′