Montreal Impact conflicted about split decision in San Jose: "It was there for the taking"
One can understand why the Montreal Impact would feel hurt at becoming the Goonies’ latest victims.
Up 2-0 thanks to two Justin Mapp goals – including an opener that was jump-out-of-your-seat good – and a handful of Troy Perkins’ best stops, the Impact then conceded twice in the second half at Buck Shaw Stadium and grudgingly settled for a share of the spoils against the San Jose Earthquakes, who again showed how they've earned their well-known nickname.
Yet while there wasn't quite reason to pop open a bottle of the Bollinger family’s finest, the atmosphere might just be quite upbeat on the plane home.
“I must say that the team, today, were really heroic,” head coach Marco Schällibaum told reporters after the game. “With the heat and the pressure put on them, they fought really hard today. It could have been three points. With one point, we’re less happy, but we’re still happy.”
Mapp, for one, was understandably pleased with his brace and the away point. Yet athletes will remain their own worst critics, and Mapp couldn’t help but turn his attention to the late equalizer.
“To get a point out of a road game is good, but I feel like we could have gotten more,” Mapp told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “It was there for the taking, but we give up a chance there at the end and they capitalize. All in all, we’ll take the point and move on, but we did feel disappointed, having had the lead so late.”
But maybe numbers could help the MLSsoccer.com Man of the Match change his mind.
Some points have left a better taste in the Montreal players’ mouths than this one, but it’s still Montreal’s seventh point out of a possible 12 on the road this season.
In 2012, nine points gathered from 17 road matches made it seem that away outings were an uphill struggle even before the Impact boarded the plane. But the current signals are good. Montreal's woes on the road, while not a distant memory yet, are slowly but surely fading into the background.
“It felt like we could have gotten this one, but given our struggles last year, so far, so good,” Mapp said. “Hopefully, we'll have some more good performances to come.”