Home MLS Montreal Impact Iapichino’s struggles contribute to Impact’s loss to last-place D.C. United

Iapichino’s struggles contribute to Impact’s loss to last-place D.C. United

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Playing the worst team in the league in D.C. United, the Montreal Impact could have ended the evening alone atop the MLS Eastern Conference after a positive result, assuming the New York Red Bulls go a draw with Sporting Kansas City.

The game over which it exercised no influence ended with a Red Bulls victory, which meant that Montreal could still reach the summit. The Impact would just have to share it. But the match the Impact did have a say in didn’t have the desired outcome either, a 3-1 loss to DC. So, the Impact had to settle to finish the evening in third.

Hassoun Camara slid over to replace an injured Alessandro Nesta at centre back which meant that Dennis Iapichino was on the flank. The Swiss defender, although not the only man to contribute to the loss, turned in a performance that will have fans and critics asking why local products Maxim Tissot and Karl Ouimette are not seeing more minutes.

While the Impact came out of an opening 45 minutes on the short end of a 1-0 score, things could have been a lot worse if not for the efforts of keeper Troy Perkins, as the home side sent 10 balls his way and had a few other opportunities that did not culminate in shots.

At the quarter-hour mark midfielder Nick DeLeon took two shots at the Montreal goal but was denied by defender Jeb Brovsky on one and by Perkins on the other. Five minutes later, Luis Silva became the Black-and-Red’s leading marksman, potting his third goal in as many games since joining the team from Toronto FC, where he did not fit into that club’s plans going forward.

With his team pressuring the Montreal goal in the 20th minute, the forward, chosen fourth overall in the 2012 draft, had a teammate’s blocked shot turn up at his feet. He stepped by a static Iapichino and rolled the ball into the mesh.

Four minutes later, Iapichino came close to being the goat for a second time. Failing to mark DeLeon closely enough, he looked on as the Phoenix native took a ball off his chest and shot, only to have Perkins interrupt its flight.

While four of the five shots the Impact sent towards the United goal were on the mark, none posed any great challenge for goalkeeper Joe Willis.

The busload of Impact supporters present for the game got something to cheer about shortly after the second half got underway, Jeb Brovsky’s first MLS goal, coming in the 52nd minute as the result of a nifty give-and-go with Davy Arnaud.
It also proved to be the last Montreal shot on goal.

Black-and-Red gaffer, Ben Olsen, made the first substitution, sending on newcomer Conor Doyle to spell Dwayne De Rosario at midfield in the 63rd. The timing was spot-on.

Doyle scored his first as a member of D.C. United four minutes after entering the match. The former Derby County forward escaped the attention of defender Matteo Ferrari and charged the goal, deftly redirecting a James Riley feed into the mesh.

Impact head coach, Marco Schallibaum, made all his changes in a five minute span, bringing in Blake Smith to spell Sanna Nyassi, Daniele Paponi for Patrice Bernier and Felipe to replace Andres Romero but did not get the same results as his opposite number did.

The Impact was reduced to a virtual 10-man side in the 87th minute when Jared Jeffrey fouled Felipe, leaving the Brazilian midfielder unable to do more than limp about the centre of the pitch as play went on around him.

An essentially immobile Felipe and an adventuring Iapichino, caught on the wrong side of midfield, were contributing factors in the final D.C. goal. In the third of four added minutes of play a Black-and-Red counterattack became a two-on-none with Perkins the only Impact player on the last 40 yards of the pitch.

Doyle carried the ball up and slipped it to his right for Jeffrey to put into the mesh to put a cap on the evening and send the RFK Stadium fans to bed happy for only the third time this season.

Montreal’s next game is against San Jose on Wednesday at Saputo Stadium, the first of four CONCACAF games the team will take part in during this round of the competition.

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