A familiar tune: Impact undone once again by late set piece

MONTREAL – Patrice Bernier knows that sometimes, a joke is the best way to reflect on a defeat.

“I don’t know, maybe we wanted to do some sort of flashback on our season,” Bernier quipped after the Impact’s 1-0 loss against the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon.

After all, it has been the story of Montreal’s season. Against Jay Heaps’ side, the Impact directed the play and created several chances. But like so many times this season, they were undone by a late goal – on a set piece no less.

LINEUPS AND FULL BOXSCORE

Penalty kicks aside, Montreal conceded a staggering 12 goals on set plays in 2012. They also allowed 17 goals in the last 15 minutes of games. It was, as one reporter suggested to Montreal head coach Jesse Marsch, the season in a nutshell.

“I felt like we did enough to deserve a win,” Marsch said in his postgame press conference. “We just couldn’t make a play. It’s incredibly frustrating, in the end, when you give up a goal like that in a game that you’ve totally dominated.”

At the game’s conclusion, the Impact had doubled the Revolution’s attempts on goal – 16 shots compared to the Revolution’s 7. Possession was 62-38 in their favor. But as many road wins prove, stats do not tell the whole story. Team captain Davy Arnaud, for one, could not quite figure out the plot to this one.

“There's going to be some days when you create so many chances you can’t remember and you don’t score, and some days when you create half a chance and you win 1-0,” Arnaud told reporters. “Today was one of those days... It's probably the most lopsided game I've ever been part of and lost, to be honest.”

OPTA CHALKBOARD: Montreal led in shots on goal but couldn't finish

But today was not the time for anyone to dig deep in search of a solution. While Jesse Marsch did identify a number of issues his team needs to address ahead of 2013 – and hinted at player movement over the next few days – he also praised his men for an expansion season the fans are proud of, as evidenced by the large ‘Merci’ banner they unfurled at the final whistle.

“I’m very appreciative for the kind of men that I have in the locker room and the commitment they’ve shown to each other and to being part of this,” Marsch said. “Certainly, I thank them very much and I know that there’s a bright future for this club.”