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Impact misses numerous chances in 1-0 loss to FCTB

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Daryl Sattler
Takuya Yamada got the 87th minute winner, but the person most responsible for ruining the Montreal Impact’s 2011 NASL season opener was FC Tampa Bay keeper Daryl Sattler.

Sattler stymied the Impact time after time, holding his team in the match until the home side could muster a charge in the final 10 minutes to win the game 1-0.

Both striker Ali Gerba and attacking midfielder Luke Kreamalmeyer will be thinking about the times their glorious opportunities gave Sattler the chance to create his own personal highlight reel.

Sattler stopped Gerba from point-blank ranger in the first half, after he was able to get behind the FCTB back line thanks to a deft pass from Kreamalmeyer. Then, Kreamalmeyer was robbed late in the first half.

FCTB actually had the majority of possession and offensive thrust in the first half, but Montreal caught the home team on the counter and carved out the two best chances of the half. But FCTB midfielder Tsuyoshi Yoshitake gave the Impact all sorts of problems down the right side. His best work came in drawing a free kick just outside the box. The free kick swung just a little too late, and struck the outside of the goal, fooling FCTB’s official Twitter feed into thinking he had scored.

“Yoshitake with the goal off of another Montreal foul just outside of the 18 yard box giving FCTB a 1-0 lead,” read the post, which was corrected a few minutes later by some red-faced member of the team’s PR staff.

But, in the second half, the Impact shifted the momentum in its favour. Midfielder Antonio Ribeiro sprung Gerba with a smart ball into the FCTB penalty area, but Sattler got down low, made himself as big as he could and deflected the shot away from goal.

Gerba was clear about his frustration as he tweeted after the game: “S–t day at work boooooooooooo need to be better for real come on aliiiiiiiiiiiiiii.”

In the 58th minute, after a scramble, Kreamalmeyer latched onto a bounding ball just outside of the FCTB penalty area and sent a laser beam of a shot towards goal. Instead of celebrating a fantastic goal, he set up Sattler’s best save of the night, as he dove to his right to palm the ball away at full stretch.

And, like we see so many times in a sport that can be so, so unfair, the Impact’s missed chances came back to haunt them.

At first, it looked like the Impact would be let off the hook. In the 85th, Impact keeper Bill Gaudette was whistled for crashing into the back of a FCTB striker. But as good as Yoshitake was in midfield, his technique from the spot left something to be desired. His penalty, which he tried to place, was a timid effort that dribbled wide — and ever so slowly, too.

But it turned out to be only a two-minute respite, as Yamada made up for his Japanese countryman’s mistake.

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