By TYLER GRAY
In a back-and-forth match that saw Matteo Ferrari play both the goat and the hero, the Montreal Impact were able to dig a little deeper and scored twice in the final 10 minutes to secure the 3-2 win against Real Salt Lake.
After deflecting a Lovel Palmer strike up and over goalkeeper Troy Perkins into the back of the net in just the seventh minute of the match, Ferrari found himself with one last chance to put his earlier blunder behind him.
The Montreal centerback stared down Blake Smith’s corner as it bounced once and fell to his feet, and he proceeded to smash the ball past the right keeper this time, scoring in the third minute of stoppage time to give Montreal the win.
This victory will help to calm the team as they re-establish their winning ways, rising to third place with 20 points from 10 games.
RSL took the lead early thanks to the Ferrari own goal. Felipe Martins was able to level the match in the 39th minute when he got on the end of Justin Mapp’s cross and placed it past Nick Rimando and into the back of the net. The match continued to be wide open with both teams having plenty of chances but RSL took the lead once again in the 77th minute when Kyle Beckerman calmly collected the ball off a corner kick and slotted it into the back of the net.
It didn’t take long for Montreal to respond. In the 80th minute Marco DiVaio received a pass in the box from Andrew Wenger and shot the ball off the near post and into the back of the net to knot the game at 2-2. DiVaio appeared to be offside in the replay but wasn’t flagged by the linesman on the far side.
It took all the way till the 93rd minute for Matteo Ferrari to score the final goal and secure the victory and three points for the Impact. All was forgiven as Ferrari ripped of his shirt upon scoring his first career MLS goal, sprinting around the pitch as his teammates mobbed him.
RSL will feel upset that they let a lead slip away from them twice, but the story belongs to Ferrari, who overcame an unfortunate start to play the hero in the end.
Montreal will have another quick turnaround as they welcome in the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday for the final of the Canadian Championship. RSL will travel to Los Angeles to face Chivas USA in a Sunday night match.
Here are the match highlights:
“Ferrari’s the story of this match?” Sorry, but no. The story of this match is how – yet again – an MLS referee squad blew the match by their poor officiating. Here are only the two biggest blown calls: 1) Di Vaio did not “appear to be offsides,” he incontrovertably WAS offsides when the ball was played to him from the top of the box – he was onside for the first pass, but that doesn’t matter because it wasn’t to him, and when the ball was passed to him he was a yard offside, so the goal should have been disallowed. Excellent arguement for the 4th official to be able to do a quick video review on goals, especially when there’s any question of offside. It wouldn’t take any longer than the players take celebrating a goal. 2) Hassoun Camara should have received a second yellow – if not for dangerous play when his high kick connected with an RSL player’s head, then when he shoved Rimando out of the field of play. The referee even blew the whistle like a foul to indicate a foul and then changed his mind and called out of bounds. The ref demonstrated no confidence in his calls, and no consistency from one team to the other. Not to mention, Felipe repeatedly hauled down RSL players from behind with no consequences. Had the officiating squad made at even one of those right, I think there’s a different result from this match. So no, the story of this is not Ferrari, it is the disgrace of MLS referees continuing to dictate the outcomes of matches.
I don’t understand why MLS doesn’t seem to hold its referees accountable for their performances. They’ve imposed rules that make it more difficult for players and coaches to complain about poor officiating, when in fact it seems to me they should be trying to do something about the poor officiating at the root of those complaints. The TV commentators indicated that Allen Chapman had called 14 PKs in his 16 MLS matches before Saturday’s match – does that not set off alarm bells to anyone else? If the Disciplinary Committee can retroactively fine and suspend players and coaches for their actions and comments during and after matches, why don’t they also review referees’ performances and punish inaccurate refereeing decisions? I hear it at every match – fans of MLS are so frustrated by the poor officiating, it’s really a problem in this league.
Not for nothing, but I do think Montreal hanging in there and continuing to fight was quite a display. I just think if they’d correctly called Di Vaio offside and Montreal had been playing with 10 men after Camara had been fairly ejected, RSL would’ve come away with at least one well-earned road point
Two good teams but RSL was way too relaxed in their defending after the beckerman goal. Impact doesn’t wow anyone with their counter attack style but its affective. Not sure why but they’re easy to like with guys like bernier, divaio and even new faces like brovski.
Plata for RSL can create but cannot finish. He’s in 1 v 1 with the keeper and hits it right at him. Ugg.
6 games in 18 days for Impact. I was at game w my 2 sons. This team plays w heart and skill. Can’t say much more than that. Wonderful team to watch. Ditto for RSL tough loss. Mtl took a tough tie vs SJ and a loss vs RB.
Hey this team is for real. 10 games in 6 2 2 . Not bad Eh?