MONTREAL – The end result may still have been the same, but the Montreal Impact's 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night was nothing like the 5-2 drubbing suffered in New York on March 31.
Montreal looked the superior side at Olympic Stadium, but struggled to find a breakthrough against an organized and resilient Red Bulls team that went down to 10 men after Victor Palsson's red card on 58 minutes. The Impact's lone goal came on a first-half penalty kick converted by Bernardo Corradi.
“Results-wise, for sure it’s a slip. Again, that game could have gone the other way. It didn’t," Impact manager Jesse Marsch said. "So we have to learn from it and handle those situations better. But in some ways, you almost feel like it’s just one of those nights where the ball is just not going your way. We just have to keep pushing and not feel sorry for ourselves.”
Highlights: MTL 1, NY 2
The second-half counterattack strike by Dane Richards held up as the game-winner for a Red Bulls side which became the first team to win on the road in Montreal.
The Impact defenders felt hard done by after the match, especially Tyson Wahl, who conceded the 37th minute equalizing penalty kick converted by Kenny Cooper. All in all, the Montreal defenders felt they played well enough, restricting New York to four shots on target. Two of those went in, however, which leads Wahl to think it was just one of those nights.
“I think we did a good job, defensively,” Wahl said. “Nelson [Rivas] and the other guys won their duels and [Cooper] didn't have much of an impact, same for Richards. Things simply didn’t go our way.”
Wahl was not the only one who liked what he saw, as his coach did not feel the need to turn to his bench before the 72nd minute, switching to three at the back. Marsch thought his starting XI was doing the right things, and he appears satisfied with the number of opportunities his side had.
“I felt that we were getting chances,” Marsch said, “and frankly, I liked the fact that our two center backs were basically playing like two defenders and we were pushing our outside backs wide ... We were dangerous. We hit the post, we had a few other plays.
“It’s frustrating, because they basically come down the field one time, a play where we have a lot of numbers back, and it comes to the feet of [Dane] Richards and he puts it in. It’s an incredibly disappointing and frustrating game, because we just let this one slip away.”