Home MLS Montreal Impact Whitecaps 3, Impact 0: Schallibaum erupts over game-changing decision

Whitecaps 3, Impact 0: Schallibaum erupts over game-changing decision

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Dropping a 3-0 decision to the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps, the Montreal Impact was once again involved in a match that turned on a questionable referee’s decision. And, as a result of head coach Marco Schallibaum’s assessment of the match, assistant coach Mauro Biello might well be holding the reins next Saturday.

Fielding basically the same lineup as for the bulk of the season so far, Montreal fell behind a mere six minutes after play got underway, Whitecaps forward Kenny Miller’s eighth of the year putting his side on the score sheet from the penalty spot after Hassoun Camara was called for a handball inside the 18-metre box.

While they were outplayed by the visiting side, Montreal did have some opportunities to draw level but were unable to finish as the opening period stretched towards the half-hour mark.

In the 24th minute, Andres Romero rolled the ball through the box where Felipe took a shot at evening things but had his shot blocked by defender Jay Demerit before it was bicycled away from the critical area by midfielder Gershon Koffie.

Five minutes later Davy Arnaud and Justin Mapp combined for a kick at the can. Mapp got the ball to Arnaud but the Impact captain had his cross captured by goalkeeper David Ousted.

A Koffie header in the 34th minute bounced off the bar and, moments later, the Montreal counter had Marco Di Vaio coming in on goal from the left side of the penalty area but his attack was nullified by Jun Marques Davidson.

Five minutes later the Japanese-American midfielder played a central role in what proved to be the game’s defining moment, a 38th-minute handball called by referee Jorge Gonzalez. After protests from Vancouver players and bench staff as well as consultation with the rest of the men in yellow, the penalty was cancelled, a decision that did not sit well with Schallibaum.

“He whistled for a penalty and then he was influenced by the fourth official who said he didn’t think it was,” Schallibaum said following the game. “For me it’s a scandal because a decision was made and then all of a sudden it’s not a penalty. It was something that changed the game even though we did not play a strong first half and we were unlucky on the penalty to Hassoun.”

What seemed to particularly rankle Schallibaum was that it seemed to be the fourth official, there “to keep the coaches in the boxes and take care of the substitutions and things like that” who swayed Gonzalez’s decision.

“When it is the linesman, OK. But this was the fourth. I can’t say we would have won the game but it was very important to have this penalty. If we make it 1-1 it changes a lot of things,” he continued. “He decides on a penalty, OK. Then you are influenced by the coach, the other players. Come on. For me it’s not acceptable. I made errors and the players made errors but this was a big mistake. It was a handball. It was a penalty. Why did he change his mind? He must have some character, the referee.

“What can I do?” Schallibaum asked rhetorically in response to a query asking if he felt officials were keeping him under closer scrutiny than they may his opposite numbers. “I can’t say nothing. They punish me every month. I pay every month.”

“We seem to take it up the ass at home,” he said, probably sealing his next suspension.

The opening half ended with the visitors holding their one-goal lead and the crowd serenading Gonzalez as he left the pitch and the second began with the Impact getting one of their rare chances as Felipe, Di Vaio and Romero buzzed around the perimeter of the penalty area, their passes leading to a Di Vaio shot that Ousted handled without too much difficulty.

Vancouver had a number of opportunities as the game headed towards the hour mark. In the 51st Koffie passed to Nigel Reo-Coker as they approached the Montreal net. The midfielder, who has been the ‘Caps’ spark plug this season, passed it to Miller but the Scot put it well over the goal.

Matt Watson had his shot from the middle of the box stopped a minute later and then the Impact took control for a while with midfielder Felipe bouncing a bicycle kick off the horizontal in the 54th, redirecting a Map service.

Tommy Heinemann, who started up top in the spot generally filled by Camilo, came up the left side in the 58th and centred to Miller, the play broken up by a sliding button-hook from Impact defender, Jed Brovsky, who neatly dispossessed the enemy forward.

Miller left the game in the 60th minute, making way for Camilo, who would put his mark on the game, scoring a brace in the half-hour before the final whistle blew, and Heinemann gave way to Russell Teibert six minutes later.

Patrice Bernier had a chance at making a game of it in the 65th, a 20-metre rising shot that Ousted managed to get enough of a fingertip on to urge it up and have it rattle it off the bar.

Matteo Ferrari headed a Montreal free kick directing the ball just wide of the left upright in the 74th and Daniele Paponi, who had subbed in for Arnaud in the 71st, brought the Impact’s opportunities to an end with his attempts in the 85th and 86th minutes, the first bouncing off both of Ousted’s legs before rolling away out of harm’s way.

A counterattack off the last Paponi attempt saw Camilo score his first of the match. Sprung by a pass from the boot of Lee Young-Pyo, the speedy little Brazilian came in alone and, shooting from the left side, put the ball across the face of the net. Goalkeeper Troy Perkins got a finger on it but was unable to deviate the flight enough to have it go wide.

Camilo completed his brace in added time, taking a pass from Carlyle Mitchell and tucking it neatly into the top right corner of Perkins’ net to bring the score to 3-0.

“We’ll just say it was a great result for us and a great scoreline,” opined Whitecaps head coach, Martin Rennie. “We started the game well, got a penalty kick and had some good opportunities. I feel as the (first) half went on, that Montreal were on top a little bit and had a few chances.” he continued.

“In the second half, the way we started and had so many good opportunities and I feel we lacked a little bit of composure. I was frustrated by that because that second goal would have taken the game off. At the end Camilo showed what he could do with two fantastic goals.” Rennie said.

“Three-nil on the road is good anywhere but against a good team like Montreal it shows our team is coming together at the right time and that the guys are confident,” he concluded.

THROW-INS :An afternoon match in Montreal makes for early viewing three time zones west. Vancouver’s London Pub put together an Egg vs. Oeuf brunch with a menu featuring a full English breakfast with a side order of Koffie.

• Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier, who turns 34 on Monday, made his 50th MLS start in today’s match, at the same time stretching the all-time Impact mark for consecutive starts to 43 games.

• It has been year a year since Impact defender Nelson Rivas, the first player signed by the club for its MLS roster, has appeared in a game. He last played against the Chicago Fire on September 15, 2012.

• While today’s match was only the second time the Impact and Whitecaps have faced each other in scheduled MLS play, the teams have met 59 times in the past, with Montreal holding the historical advantage with a 27W-17L-12D record in head-to-head competition.

• A short pregame ceremony honouring Eddy Sebrango, who starred for both Montreal and Vancouver in his playing days featured a filmed highlight tribute as well as presentations from supporters of both the Impact and Whitecaps.

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One Comment

  1. footy

    September 22, 2013 at 7:52 am

    I hate it when coaches whine about refs’ decisions, but you have to feel sorry for Schallibaum. The decision was already made, why change it? This is a signal for players to keep protesting every single decision, the league should be punishing the ref. But instead they will probably take the easy route (again) and punish Schallibaum. And it was the right call in the first place!

    Anyway, good for Whitecaps to still have a chance to qualify. But Montreal also needs a couple of victories to be sure.

    Reply

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