MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact lost its first game at Stade Saputo, 5-3 against Los Angeles FC in front of 20,302 supporters. Nacho Piatti scored his first hat-trick with the Bleu-blanc-noir in the first half, while Evan Bush made 14 saves, a club record, including one off a penalty.
“We conceded too many goals, too many scoring chances,” said head coach Rémi Garde. “We conceded four goals in the second half, but it could’ve easily been six or seven. I am not happy with the way we managed the second half. When we’re lucky enough to be up 3-1 at halftime, we must be more determined in protecting our own goal and in attacking.”
Action right from the start
As of the fourth minute, the Impact was refused a goal. A nice passing play allowed Saphir Taïder to cross the ball to the far post for Daniel Lovitz, but the defender was offside.
A minute later, on the other end of the field, Diego Rossi earned a good scoring chance, but Bush rushed out and made a save with his foot.
In the 10th minute, Alejandro Silva crossed a ball towards the far post. Goalkeeper Tyler Miller came out and punched the ball away, but Piatti, at the right place at the right time, opened the scoring for the hosts.
In the 15th minute, Piatti was at it again. The Argentine ran at LA’s defense on the counter-attack and dribbled past two defenders, before trying to go around the goalkeeper, who tripped him in the box. Referee Allen Chapman gave the penalty while serving a yellow card to Miller, who Piatti would beat from the spot.
In the 24th minute, LAFC answered off a set piece with a direct free kick from Laurent Ciman.
And then, the tables turned. Víctor Cabrera was ejected after committing a foul in Montreal’s 18-yard box in the 31st minute. Ureña subsequently stepped up to take the penalty, but Bush made the save.
“It’s another game with a penalty or a red card,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush. “Especially when you’re up in a game, it’s really frustrating to let them back in it. It’s even more frustrating when it’s off set pieces, because those are the moments you shouldn’t be disadvantaged on when you’re down a man.”
With two minutes left before the break, Piatti completed his hat-trick. A long pass behind the opposing team’s defense from Jukka Raitala allowed the number 10 to beat Miller on the half-volley.
Four goals allowed in the second half
Down a man, Montreal suffered in the second half. As of the 52nd minute, the visitors started chipping away at the Impact’s lead, with a goal from Benny Feilhaber following a corner.
In the 56th minute, Piatti could have been awarded another penalty, after he was clipped in the box and checked by an LAFC defender, but the referee kept his whistle down.
A minute later, Los Angeles earned another set piece and an Impact defender deflected the ball into his own goal, allowing the visitors to level the score.
“We were not allowed to lose this game, even if we were playing with 10 men,” said defender Rudy Camacho. “We had a good first half. We were very compact. It was the opposite in the second half. We conceded unfortunate and avoidable goals. It’s disappointing to lose this way in front of our supporters, we didn’t want to give them this type of performance.”
Evan Bush kept his team in it with two excellent saves in the 68th and 71st minute, but Carlos Vela, profiting from a penalty, beat Montreal’s goalkeeper in the 83rd minute.
In the 89th minute, Latif Blessing took advantage of a rebound to put the game to bed and put an end to the Impact’s hopes.
The Impact will visit one of the most exciting stadiums in MLS, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, to face Atlanta United FC, on Saturday, April 28 at 1pm (TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690) and will come back Stade Saputo to host the New England Revolution, Saturday, May 5, at 1pm (TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690 - TICKETS).
MTL – G-Evan Bush; D-Chris Duvall (Michael Petrasso 85’), Víctor Cabrera, Rudy Camacho, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Alejandro Silva (Matteo Mancosu 85’), Saphir Taider; A-Jeisson Vargas (Ken Krolicki 80’), Ignacio Piatti
Unused substitutes – Clément Diop, Louis Béland-Goyette, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Raheem Edwards
LAFC – G-Tyler Miller; D-Jordan Harvey (Omar Gaber 68’), Dejan Jakovic (Latif Blessing 46’), Laurent Ciman, Walker Zimmerman, Steven Beitashour; M-Benny Feilhaber, Mark-Anthony Kaye (Eduard Atuesta 75’); A-Diego Rossi, Marco Ureña, Carlos Vela
Unused substitutes– Charlie Lyon, Tristan Blackmon, Aaron Kovar, Rodrigo Pacheco
MTL – Piatti 9’
MTL – Piatti (PEN) 16’
LAFC – Ciman 24’
MTL – Piatti (Raitala) 43’
LAFC – Feilhaber (Ureña, Vela) 52’
LAFC – OG 57’
LAFC – Vela (PEN) 83’
LAFC – Blessing 89’
LAFC – Miller 15’
MTL – Piatti 25’
MTL – Silva 84’
MTL – Cabrera 31’