CHESTER, Pa. — It’s never over for the Montreal Impact.
For the 13th time this season, Montreal scored in the final 15 minutes of a game, this time riding an 88th-minute goal from Matteo Mancuso to an important 1-1 road draw Saturday vs. the Philadelphia Union.
“It’s been a little bit of our identity all year to be able to fight back and be a team that doesn’t give up, especially on the road,” said Impact head coach Mauro Biello. “At home, we’ve been a little bit more unlucky. But for the most part this season, we’ve been able to come back in games even when we’re down. I think that’s an important quality to have.”
The Impact have certainly been solid away from home, improving their road record to 3-4-7. More importantly, the point allowed them to stay within striking distance of the Union for fourth place in the Eastern Conference — and the home playoff game that comes with such a position.
The Impact also have a game in hand vs. the Union, who they’ve beaten once and tied twice this season.
“We wanted to close that gap between us and them,” Biello said. “And we were able to win the series against them this year. It’s important for us to continue to accumulate points and start to grow as a team when we get back home. That’ll be important for us down the stretch.”
On Saturday, the Impact’s late-game response was certainly boosted by the fact that star forward Didier Drogba, as well as Dominic Oduro and Harry Shipp, were summoned off the bench in the second half.
But Biello was pleased about his team’s effort throughout the game, especially early in the first half when they had a couple of good opportunities to score the first goal.
Now, they hope to keep that momentum going for the final six games of the season, half of which are at home, as they look to secure a playoff spot.
“The six games left are going to be very, very tough with high intensity,” said Impact defender Hassoun Camara. “We have to be ready to fight for that because the other teams will be ready to fight. We want to move up, and build from this game. I think that we did a good thing tonight.”