Montreal Impact 1, DC United 0 | MLS is Back Tournament Match Recap
Thierry Henry’s side are in contention for one of the wildcard spots in the Round of 16, while Ben Olsen’s squad, which had rallied to earn a share of the points in their first two matches, were eliminated from the tournament.
The Impact took the game to United in the first half, carrying a bulk of possession with occasional pokes and prods in the attacking third. As such, they took a deserved lead in the 31st minute following a corner kick. Saphir Taider unleashed a shot from distance that took a deflection off defender Frederic Brillant past a helpless Bill Hamid.
It was Taider’s third goal of the tournament, which gave Montreal its first lead in Orlando.
United came out with more urgency after halftime and pressed for the equalizer just before the hour mark. But Clement Diop denied both Ulises Segura and Kevin Paredes in quick succession with a pair of kick saves.
Maxi Urruti had a golden chance to put the game away for the Impact in the 68th minute, but his shot caromed agonizingly off the inside of the post and back across the goal.
Federico Higuain, who sparked both of United's previous comebacks, entered the match in the 70th minute, but the veteran midfielder couldn't draw up another magical moment in Orlando.
- 31’ — MTL — Saphir Taider | WATCH
Man of the Match presented by Heineken
For much of the game, Clement Diop was a spectator, with his team dominating possession. But with D.C. United pressing for the equalizer, the French goalkeeper came up huge with two kick saves in quick succession to secure a needed win to keep the Impact alive in the MLS is Back Tournament.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Impact’s best performance of the tournament came late — very late — but it counts all the same. It secured the top spot in Group C for rivals Toronto FC, with the New England Revolution finishing second. Montreal will have to wait to see if they’re one of the four third-place finishers to advance to the Round of 16.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: If not for this Taider goal (and a little help from the deflection), the Impact would have been eliminated.
- YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Julian Gressel was brought in to be a major impact player. He was subbed off after a quiet 52 minutes. Still, it was change that made some scratch their heads.