With a big 4-1 win over the Seattle Sounders in the bag and the prospect of facing a team with a 1-6-1 home record, the Montreal Impact thought they could get more than just “a good result” on Wednesday night.
Instead, they got a harsh lesson in the realities of MLS as Chivas USA slapped a 2-1 loss on them at the Home Depot Center.
Juan Pablo Ángel’s meticulously placed header put an end to Montreal’s hopes for three points, and the goal was upsetting not only because it came heartbreakingly late, but also because it was the second conceded by the Impact on a cross.
Defending wide play is something they had tried to get familiar with during practice.
“I’m a little frustrated, definitely,” midfielder Collen Warner told MLSsoccer.com over the phone after the game. “It was an important result for us, and it’s a tough one to give up, honestly. We conceded a goal coming off a corner, and then another one coming off a cross as well, and it was something we’d worked on in training, so it was disappointing.”
While ball movement in midfield was of a very high order in the Impact’s win against Seattle, Chivas’ relentless pressing did seem to get to the Montreal players in the center of the park, particularly in the first half.
Fittingly, however, Felipe Martins’ goal came from a Davy Arnaud cross on the right flank, a situation Warner thinks did not happen quite as often as needed.
“I don’t think we did a good enough job of getting the ball wide,” Warner admitted.
The short-term objective for the Impact will obviously be to refocus on the plane back to their Montreal home, where they are scheduled to train on Friday before taking on the Houston Dynamo at Stade Saputo on Saturday.
This, says Warner, will be an opportunity to put the Chivas result behind them – “which I think we’ll do.”