New York Red Bulls 2-1 Montreal Impact
The Montreal Impact lost for the first time in four regular season matches, falling 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena. New York Designated Player Thierry Henry scored a brace, while Marco Di Vaio scored for the Impact in extra time.
Henry opened the scoring for the Red Bulls in the dying seconds of added time in the first half. Following a shot by Eric Alexander that banged off the cross bar, forward Fabian Espindola found the rebound and fed the ball to Henry in the six yard box. The former French international took a low shot on goal from point blank range that deflected off of an Impact defender near the goal line and went in.
Henry then got his second of the game in spectacular fashion in the 88th minute. Juninho played a corner kick near the penalty spot where Markus Holgersson headed the ball back towards the far post that found Henry back to goal. The Red Bulls DP used a half volley bicycle kick to put the ball into the top corner, towards the opposite post from about 8 yards out.
Di Vaio got one back for the Impact in extra time when he hammered a shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Midfielder Justin Mapp set up the Italian striker with a through ball.
Then a few seconds later, Di Vaio came close to tying it when a deep cross into the box from Mapp was chested down by Hassoun Camara. Di Vaio then blasted a one timer that bounced off both posts.
Down possession in the first with only 44.2%, the Impact regained control of the ball in the second half with 52% and finished the game with more attempts at goal with 17-13.
"This result leaves a bitter taste in my mouth because we played our best game of the season," said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. "We had several scoring opportunities. The players believed until the end and did all they could to get a result. We deserved a tie. They were excellent tactically. Even with the loss tonight, I'm really proud of my players."
"We made a mistake on their first goal and allowed a second goal in the final minutes of the game that prevented us from tying it," noted midfielder Patrice Bernier, who wore the captain's armband for the game. "We dominated, but we were not very precise. We paid the price on their efficient counter-attacks."
"We got great opportunities to tie the game, but we were unlucky," said Marco Di Vaio. "We played a good game and were competitive for 90 minutes. We are not happy, but we feel we did well. We fight every match and have good chances to win, so it's positive."
The first real chance of the game fell to the left foot of Henry in the 18th minute. Red Bulls left midfielder Johnny Steele curled a chest-level cross through the Impact defence to Henry, but his one-timer bounced wide, far post, to Perkins' left.
In the 21st minute, Impact midfielder Sanna Nyassi hit the cross bar with a blast from 20 yards out, facing the left post, after accepting a lateral feed from fellow mid Andres Romero.
Then one minute later, Nyassi broke in alone on goal, using his speed to get through the New York defence, but Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles came charging out, sliding to stop the shot.
In the 42nd minute, Brazilian midfielder Juninho curled one of his patented free kicks around the wall from about 20 yards out, but it slid just inches past the pole to Perkins' right.
Impact keeper Troy Perkins was forced to make some big saves to keep the game close in the second half. Just after the whistle, Perkins made a diving stop as Eric Alexander got onto the end of a cross from the left flank by Heath Pearce with his head from point blank range that was destined for the bottom corner. Then in the 62nd minute, Henry played a cross from the left touchline that found Steele, who took the ball down with his chest before blasting one from the top of the box that forced Perkins to dive to his right to make the save.
Midfielder Justin Mapp reached a milestone in this one, starting his 200th career MLS game while defender Jeb Brovsky hit the 50-start plateau. Forward Andrew Wenger made his second straight start for the Impact.
MTL - GK-Troy Perkins; D-Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara, Dennis Iapichino; M- Patrice Bernier, Sanna Nyassi, Felipe, Andrés Romero (Blake Smith 74'), Justin Mapp; F-Andrew Wenger (Marco Di Vaio 66')
Unused subs: GK-Evan Bush; D-Maxim Tissot, Karl W. Ouimette; M-Wandrille Lefèvre, Collen Warner
NY - GK-Luis Robles; D- Kosuke Kimura, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Heath Pearce; M-Eric Alexander, Tim Cahill, Juninho, Johnny Steele (Roy Miller 88'); F-Thierry Henry (Andre Akpan 89'), Peguy Luyindula (Fabian Espindola 25')
Unused subs: GK-Santiago Castano; D- Brandon Barklage, Connor Lade; M-Lloyd Sam
NY - Henry (Espindola) 45"+
NY - Henry (Holgersson, Juninho) 88'
MTL - Di Vaio (Mapp) 90'+