Impact Comes from Behind to Defeat Red Bulls 2-1 in New Jersey
HARRISON, New Jersey - The Montreal Impact won its first ever regular season game at Red Bull Arena, coming back from behind to defeat the New York Red Bulls 2-1 on Wednesday night. After centre-back Aaron Long opened the scoring in the first half, second-half strikes from Zakaria Diallo and Maximiliano Urruti, their first in an Impact uniform, allowed the Impact to win a fourth game on the road in 2019.
"I'm very proud of the performance of all my players," said Impact head coach Rémi Garde, who won his 20th game with the Montreal club tonight. "We played against a good team that's used to winning its games here. I'm proud of their investment on the pitch. Tactically, I think they answered well to what we had prepared, and on short notice. I think we caused them a lot of problems tonight."
With 20 points, the Impact finds itself in a three-way tie for first in the Eastern Conference standings.
Hosts strike first
The Red Bulls got their first look on goal in the seventh minute, when Kemar Lawrence chipped a pass in behind the defense to Marc Rzatkowski. The German midfielder passed back to Daniel Royer, but his shot was easily handled by goalkeeper Evan Bush.
In the 14th minute, the Red Bulls were forward again, this time from a set piece. After winning a foul on the right flank, Alex Muyl got on the end of a cross into the box, but his header trickled across the six-yard box and just wide.
Montreal came close to breaking through in the 20th minute, when Anthony Jackson-Hamel was first on the ball following a clearance from Bush, flicking it between the defenders for Omar Browne. The Panamanian dribbled past Luis Robles to shoot, but his attempt from a difficult angle missed wide.
New York took advantage of another set piece in the 36th minute, this one to the right of Montreal's box, to open the scoring. Aaron Long was first on the cross from Rzatkwoski, heading it past Bush to give the hosts the lead.
It was the first goal allowed by the Impact on the road in 159 minutes of play.
The Red Bulls thought they went up by two when Lawrence broke into the box from the right side, passing across to Daniel Royer, but Bush somehow got a hand on the midfielder's effort to tip it over the bar.
Montreal answers after the break
Montreal was menacing upon returning from the locker room in search of an equalizer. Full-back Zachary Brault Guillard got a look on goal when an Impact corner was cleared to his feet, but his ensuing shot was easily stopped by Robles.
Finally, the Impact employed the aerial route to break through in the 64th minute. Maxi Urruti made himself available for a short corner, turning and crossing a perfect ball for centre-back Zakaria Diallo, who had no trouble beating Robles for his first MLS goal. It was the Argentine's team-leading fourth assist of the season.
Referee Alex Chilowicz awarded a penalty to the Impact in the 79th minute, when full-back Aaron Long fouled Anthony Jackson-Hamel in the box, after the striker chased down a nice pass from Shamit Shome. Maxi Urruti stepped up take the shot, sending Robles the wrong way for his first goal in an Impact uniform.
"It's a good victory, especially after falling behind in the first," said centre-back Zakaria Diallo. "I thought we controlled things from the start. The energy and state of mind of every player on the pitch made the difference. In the end, we come away with all three points."
Montreal was able to hang on late in the game as the hosts tried to find an equalizer, Samuel Piette making a particularly nice diving save with minutes left to play. The Canadian international reached the 5,000-minute plateau in MLS in the 50th minute, in his 49th consecutive start with the Montreal club.
"We have players ready to battle from the first minute to the last," said Piette. "We knew it was going to be a difficult game against a team that presses a lot. But we also know we have the elements in our team to compete against anyone. If we give our best every game, we can achieve big things, like tonight."
The Impact continues its busy week this Saturday, at 1pm, when it will face FC Cincinnati for the first time at Nippert Stadium (TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690). Montreal will then be back at Stade Saputo on Saturday, May 18, at 1pm, to take on the New England Revolution (TICKETS - TVA Sports, 98.5, TSN 690).
MTL - GK-Evan Bush; D-Zachary Brault-Guillard, Zakaria Diallo, Rudy Camacho, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Shamit Shome, Omar Browne (Micheal Azira 74'); F-Maximiliano Urruti, Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Saphir Taïder 85')
Subs not used - Clément Diop, Bacary Sagna, Daniel Kinumbe, Amar Sejdic, Ken Krolicki
NYRB - GK-Luis Robles; D-Aaron Long, Amro Tarek (Kaku 68'), Connor Lade, Kemar Lawrence, Tim Parker; M-Alex Muyl (Omir Fernandez 68'), Daniel Royer, Marc Rzatkowski, Sean Davis, F-Tom Barlow (Derrick Etienne 74')
Subs not used - Ryan Meara, Michael Murillo, Cristian Cásseres Jr, Mathias Jorgensen
NYRB - Long (Rzatkowski) 36'
MTL - Diallo (Urruti, Browne) 64'
MTL - Urruti (PEN) 79'
NYRB - Tarek 23'
MTL - Urruti 51'
NYRB - Parker 73'
MTL - Piette 73'
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