The Philadelphia Union’s five-match unbeaten streak came to an end as they lost to the Montreal Impact 4-1 on Saturday night in Chester.
Union starting XI: Blake; Gaddis, Trusty, Elliott, Rosenberry; Medujanin, Bedoya; Sapong (Herbers 64′), Dockal (Jones 72′), Picault; Burke (Accam 80′)
Montreal starting XI: Bush; Lovitz, Camacho, Fanni, Sagna; Taider (Krolicki 87′), Piette, Azira; Piatti (Jackson-Hamel 80′), Amarikwa (Raitala 71′), Silva
The Union had every reason to be confident coming into the match. They were riding a five-game unbeaten streak in league play, with four of those matches being wins. Their injured number 10, Borek Dockal, was healthy enough to be in the lineup. They were in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, looking at a chance to challenge Columbus for the fourth place spot and the home playoff match that comes with that. The Impact were in sixth place, four points behind the Union. This was a great opportunity for the boys in blue to put some distance between them and Montreal.
But it was an opportunity missed. The Union came out flat and the Impact took advantage.
It didn’t start out so bad. The Union struck first in the 11th minute when Auston Trusty was on the end of a short corner kick and he headed into the goal.
The Union had the better run of play after that, but they were not able to create many quality chances. The match changed again in the 28th minute, when Montreal got an equalizer. Fafa Picault fell when trying to receive a pass and Alejandro Silva took the ball down the field. Andre Blake came rushing out of the box, but Silva shot it past him to tie the match.
Play became more even after that, but it was the Impact that found a go-ahead goal in the 39th minute. Blake made a save off a shot by Amarikwa, but the ball bounced off him, and Saphir Taider put in the rebound.
The Union looked flat in the second half and were unable to take control of the match. The Impact got their insurance goal in the 63rd minute. Daniel Lovitz crossed the ball across the front of the goal. Trusty whiffed on the clearance and Amarikwa slid in and knocked the ball into the goal.
The Impact put the game away in the 76th minute when they scored their fourth goal. The Union were taking a corner kick so they had numbers in the box, but the ball fell to Silva who found himself on a two-on-one breakaway with Ignacio Piatti against Raymon Gaddis. Gaddis couldn’t cover both, and Silva finished the chance to earn his second goal of the night.
After the match, head coach Jim Curtin said, “Hopefully this is a one-off game and we can move on.” But it doesn’t get any easier for the Union, as they have a short turnaround for a long trip to Seattle for a match on Wednesday night. The Union better put on a better performance for those who stay up to watch that game.
- There was plenty of blame to go around, but despite coming off an ankle injury, Dockal played well.
- When your captain is having a bad night, it doesn’t bode well for the rest the team and Alejandro Bedoya seemed one step behind all night.
- Phang was in the house for the first time since he hatched earlier in the week. The fans seemed to give him a warm welcome.
Phang was in the house
(Photo: Michael Dempsey)