One game in 100 words: Given the fact that DC United contended for the Supporters Shield at one point this season, while the Montreal has been one of Major League Soccer’s worst teams, it’s easy to applaud the effort that the Impact put forth in this match. They looked like the better squad in the first-half, holding DC to few legitimate scoring opportunities and grabbing the first goal of the match. But as has been their issue during the regular season, Frank Klopas’ crew had difficulty retaining the quality of their performance for the entire 90 minutes, and in classic United fashion, capitalization at a significant time served them well.
Montreal: Marco Di Vaio 26’
D.C. United: Fabian Espindola 86’
Three moments that mattered
26’ — Vintage Di Vaio — Montreal midfielder Dilly Duka took advantage of a miss-aimed forward pass from D.C. United defender Bobby Boswell, and Italian veteran Marco Di Vaio, who’s set to officially retire since the Impact’s season has concluded, edged toward the box and sprinted to the near post once he received the pass. Outrunning United’s back line, the classic collected close-range finish from the striker gave the East’s last-place squad the first-half advantage.
86’ — Espindola equalizes — He took Samuel Inkoom’s layoff outside the box, and Fabian Espindola, DC United’s key offensive attacker this year, took it upon himself to tie the match in the late stages of the match. He made a bold diagonal run across the edge of the penalty area, avoiding the legs of multiple United players before rocketing a left-footed, cross-body shot that somehow skidded into the back of the net past goalkeeper Evan Bush, shocking the crowd at Stade Saputo.
13’ — Iron denies Issey Nakajima-Farran — Waiting on the outskirts of the United’s box, Nakajima-Farran received a back pass from Di Vaio and knew exactly what he was going to do with the space available to him, uncorking a deep attempt that dipped and slid off the top of the crossbar. DC goalie Bill Hamid dove frantically to his left, but luckily for him, the endeavor couldn’t find twine. This sequence signified the great start Montreal had captured in the competition’s opening minutes.
Montreal: Evan Bush; Eric Miller, Karl Ouimette, Wandrille Lefevre, Maxim Tissot (Krzysztof Krol 59’); Patrice Bernier, Calum Mallace, Andres Romero, Dilly Duka (Jack McInerney 74’), Issey Nakajima-Farran; Marco Di Vaio
D.C. United: Bill Hamid; Sean Franklin (Samuel Inkoom 65’), Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, Chris Korb; Nick DeLeon, Jared Jeffrey (Lewis Neal 62’), Perry Kitchen, Collin Martin (David Estrada 81’); Fabian Espindola, Eddie Johnson