Drilling down on: at Montreal 2, Philadelphia 0

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Man of the Match: Hassoun Camara’s getting closer to his customary midfield position, shifted from central defense to right back over the last two weeks. Tonight, he played fullback with a center half’s force while providing the necessary width when the Impact pushed forward. In the 77th minute, both facets of Camara’s game came together, with the former Marseille man taking the ball off Freddy Adu, crossing for Felipe, who then converted the goal of the night. The assist capped off Montreal’s best individual performance, good enough for our Man of the Match.

Packaged for takeaway:

  • It was a tough night for Philadelphia, who played well and should have gone up in the 21st minute (were it not for Donovan Ricketts’ reflexes). While it’s hard to say they were the better team, they were certainly the better team going forward, with a couple of poor moments in defense compromising their night at Stade Saputo.
  • The first poor moment came off a 45th minute corner kick, Justin Mapp’s short pass to Patrice Bernier confusing Philadelphia’s marking. Andrew Wenger was allowed to score his fourth career goal while matched against Michael Lahoud.
  • For Wenger, it was a reward for a couple of tough weeks that saw the rookie fight back to fitness during a time most first year players are hitting a wall. The number one overall pick is scoring a goal every 123 minutes and has converted 40 percent of his shots. He also leads Montreal in game-winning goals (two).
  • Before Wenger’s goal, the match had gone through two phases: An initial 10 minutes with little action followed by Philadelphia taking control of the match, control which culminated with Lionard Pajoy nailing the left post in the 21st minute. Wenger’s goal as your typical against the run of play strike.
  • It wasn’t the best debut for what Montreal might call their ideal back line. Matteo Ferrari, back to 90-minute fitness, got the start at left back, the Impact shifted to a back three when in attack. Ferrari would pinch in, Nelson Rivas would move to the middle, while Alessandro Nesta shifted right.
  • For the most part, the tactic was fine, but with four center halves across their defense, Montreal was vulnerable to Philadelphia’s fast attackers.
  • And the Union would have taken advantage of Montreal if Michael Farfan and Freddy Adu had done more. Farfan is coming off injury and didn’t look as dynamic as the player we saw before the all-star break. Adu, playing on the right, just never got involved, for whatever reason.
  • The teams were reduced to 10 men in the 68th minute after a couple of moments of idiocy. Rivas, responding to being taken down by Antoine Hoppenot, head-butted the Philadelphia sub, earning a straight red card. Before Rivas learned his fate, Jack McInerney went after him in defense of his teammate, earning his own red card.
  • You know if you head butt somebody, it’s an automatic red, and retaliating physically will likely see you ejected, too. Rivas and McInerney, lucky their mistakes cancelled each other out, are set to miss (at least) their teams’ next matches.
  • For Philadelphia, the loss will feel like an unfair result, with the Union outplaying Montreal for most of the night. Unable to find an end product, Phildelphia stays on 23 points, too far back of fifth to think playoffs.
  • The Impact, however, keep their playoff hopes alive, moving into sixth, three points back of Chicago. Montreal’s problem remains the schedule, with the Fire still holding three matches in hand.