The Montreal Impact managed a 1-1 tie against the 2nd place Carolina Railhawks yesterday afternoon and maintained their 6th place position in the USL Division 1 standings.
While Montreal was able to take the lead on a Tony Donatelli header off a Adam Braz cross at the 33rd minute of play, it was as if déjà vu had set in after the first half.
was able to take the lead on a Tony Donatelli header off a Adam Braz cross at the 33rd minute of play, it was as if déjà vu had set in after the first half.
In many situations this season, the modus operandi for Montreal was to outplay their opponent for most of the game but then give up a late goal to either squander the lead and settle for a tie, or worse, give up the game winning goal(s) with little time to make up the difference.
This game was no exception.
While Montreal appeared much more aggressive and prepared mentally for this game, it was Carolina that came out the strongest in the 2nd half. Their effort was rewarded at the 63rd minute. Following a turnover in midfield, RailHawks midfielder John Cunliffe dribbled over 20 meters, defeating the Montreal defence before beating Impact goalkeeper Matt Jordan with a low shot to his right.
You got the feeling, however that Montreal was agitated by this goal and they pressed hard in an effort to regain the lead, but in the end, it was yet another case of not being able to put an all important game against a top shelf team away.
“Carolina is a great team and we have to be more detail-oriented if we want to beat them,” mentioned Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos. “Today, I can say that we played the full 90 minutes, but we need to be careful with the changes in momentum. The opponent made us pay on that specific detail today. I can say that I’m happy because the players were ready and did everything they could to win the match."
Montreal could at least take comfort in the fact that they were not the recipients of the same fate that awaited the last team that met Carolina as the Railhawks combined to embarrass Miami FC by a score of 9-0, almost all but extinguishing Miami's chances of a playoff berth.
With a win last night, Montreal would have been in sole possession of 5th place, but are now in 6th, just one point ahead of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
“We are consolidating our spot in the standings, but we need to continue earning points," added Dos Santos. "We demonstrated that we can play against all teams, but we will need to step it up a bit more to beat them.”
Gritty Impact defender Adam Braz was confident in the team’s direction; “We showed today that we are one of the top teams in the league. We played them very well and I think we deserved the three points. We have every reason to be confident about our next matchup against them.”
Both teams will set ‘em up and do it all over again this Wednesday night at 7:30 PM at Saputo Stadium.
Special game notes:
Defender Nevio Pizzolitto played his 250th career game with the Impact, becoming the second player in the club to reach that mark after Mauro Biello (339 matches).
Pizzolitto, who received his 6th caution of the campaign in the 75th minute, will have to serve a 1-game suspension next week. He should miss the game against Vancouver on September 9th.
Midfielder David Testo became the first player on the team to reach the 2,000 minutes played mark this season. In 24 matches, he has now played 2,077 minutes.
pic by photos pépé