WASHINGTON – Pretty would not be the right adjective to describe Wednesday night’s encounter between D.C. United and the Montreal Impact, but after a drab first half, the two teams shared the points after each side scored four minutes apart in the second half.
Neither team threatened much in the first half, but Bernardo Corradi found the breakthrough for Montreal in the 69th minute, as he found space at the back post to head a Lamar Neagle cross in. It was the Impact’s fifth lead in a game this season, but it only took United four minutes to find an equalizer. Maicon Santos was allowed to fire away from 30 yards out, and a low shot beat Impact keeper Donovan Ricketts at the near post.
In the first half, Montreal found themselves in several dangerous positions, courtesy of speedster Sanna Nyassi. However, Nyassi was adjudged to be offside on three different occasions, killing what could have been goal scoring opportunities. Corradi had a shot at the near post following a Davy Arnaud cross, but the effort was forced wide by the presence of United defender Brandon McDonald.
Arnaud then found himself wide open on the right side of the United defense, and Justin Mapp found the Montreal captain after dribbling through several players. Arnaud had plenty to aim at, but his shot was high of the mark.
United was then able to string together several decent chances after settling into the match. Andy Najar, in the starting lineup for the first time returning from Olympic qualifying, fired a volley high from a Dwayne De Rosario cross. De Rosario then carved out a chance by dribbling and weaving through the Impact defense, before firing over while attempting to find the far post.
The second half bore little resemblance to the first half, as De Rosario immediately had the best chance of the game right after the restart. The Canadian international slipped through the Impact defense, and found himself in a one-on-one situation with Ricketts. Ricketts loomed large though, and De Rosario couldn’t get a shot around the keeper.
Ricketts came up big once more moments later, denying De Rosario again, after a long ball from Chris Korb found United’s captain behind the Montreal backline.
Corradi then put Montreal ahead with a well-timed run with 20 minutes remaining in the match. Mapp was given time from the United defenders, and fed substitute Neagle on the right. Neagle then found Corradi at the far post, and the Italian made no mistake with the header, scoring for the second time in two weeks and giving Montreal the lead.
Similar to their game in Dallas last week, Montreal’s lead was short lived, as former Hoops man Maicon Santos netted his fourth goal of the season 13 minutes after entering the game as a substitute for Branko Boskovic. The Brazilian striker found time and space in the Montreal half, and with the ball on his favored left foot, Santos fired a shot from 30 yards out that beat Ricketts at the near post to level the score at 1-1.
Neither team finished the game quietly, and the chances were there to win the game at both ends of the field. The ball fell to Arnaud in the United box in the 87th minute, but the former US international fired wide from 12 yards out.
Santos looked to have won the game for United with a goal in the last minute of the game, but Santos was correctly adjudged to have been offside, ahead of De Rosario’s cross, negating what would have been the Brazilian’s fifth goal of the season.
United (2-2-3), on a five game unbeaten streak, welcome the high scoring New York Red Bulls to RFK Stadium on Sunday night (6 pm ET, ESPN2), while Montreal (1-5-2) have the weekend off before hosting the Portland Timbers on Saturday, April 28.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Bernardo Corradi||The big striker not only scored to earn his team a first road point, but his hold-up play and strength provided plenty for the D.C. defense to think about.|
|2||Maicon Santos||Came off the bench, but proved the missing ingredient in the United attack as he equalized and had a winner called back.|
|3||Matteo Ferrari||The Italian's class was evident as he handled everything D.C. threw at him for the full 90 minutes.|