On a miserable, cold, rainy day the Montreal Impact did nothing to make the almost 12,000 brave souls who endured the weather and came to the game feel better. Nor must have coach Marc Dos Santos. Two defensive lapses led to two Carolina goals. The Impact pretty much dominated possession of the ball, but could not translate it into a goal until the 84th minute. It was too little too late.
The conditions were not optimal, but both teams had to play under the same steady pelt of rain. Carolina took advantage of the two chances they had to score. The team has a class one striker in Etienne Barbara. He has already scored 9 goals (ties him for the most by a RailHawk player in a season) in only 7 games and was named the NASL Player of the Month in April. He is the type of player that only needs the slimmest of chances in order to score.
The Impact gave up both goals against early in each half. Backbreakers. Neither one was Impact goaltender Evan Bush‘s, making his first start for the team, fault. Eight minutes into the game Barbara took a feed from Floyd Franks about 30 yards out and tried a shot on net. Here is where bad luck struck for the Impact as the shot deflected off defender Kevin Hatchi and went past a stunned Bush, who was going the other way.
For the rest of the half Montreal possessed the ball, but most of their ball control happened in the middle of pitch. They did not create many offensive chances. The few they did usually went through striker Ali Gerba and were frittered away.
Then again at the beginning of the 2nd half Barbara got himself into a good scoring position by deking around a couple of Impact players inside the 6 yard box and then stroking a shot past Bush.
The second goal seemed to deflate the Impact a little and Carolina began taking the game to them. Dos Santos made some substitutions bringing striker Reda Agourram, midfielder Mignane Diouf (his first game of the season) and midfielder Idriss Ech Chergui in to the game. They gave a little spark to the team. Especially Ech Chergui, who created a couple of chances for his side. He then scored a goal off a back pass by Simon Gatti in the 84th minute.
Over the last 6 minutes of the game and the 3 minutes of injury time added on by referee Carol Anne Chenard, who did not have one of her stronger games, the Impact did muster another weak chance or two, but nothing that panned out.
The RailHawks have really become the Impact’s nemesis. They ousted Montreal from the playoffs last season and have now won two out of two games this season.
The Impact’s next game is May 21 in Tampa Bay.
-Officials: Referee: Carol Anne Chenard
Linesmen: Marie-Josée Charbonneau and Lyles Arfa
8’ – Carolina – Etienne Barbara assisted by Floyd Franks
51’ – Carolina – Etienne Barbara assisted by Johnny Steele
84’ – Montreal – Idriss Ech Chergui assisted by Simon Gatti
-Shots on Goal: Montreal: 15
-Saves: Montreal: 2
-Corners: Montreal: 3
-Final Score: Montreal: 1