It’s almost a carbon copy.
On June 30th, the Montreal Impact came to RFK Stadium in the midst of a lot of matches in a short amount of time. They too also made a lot of changes to their lineup to rest some weary legs. The result was a 3-0 loss to D.C. United.
Fast forward two months and United were in the same boat and predictably the same result came about in their 3-0 loss to the Montreal Impact this afternoon in Montreal, Canada. You could have made a bet in sports betting sites and come out ahead. Ben Olsen made four changes to his lineup, including top goalscorers Chris Pontius and Dwayne De Rosario and United could not recover from a contentious penalty kick decision early in the second half that paved the way for the easy win for Montreal.
Patrice Bernier scored twice after Marco Di Vaio’s 24th minute opener to help pace the Canadian side. Montreal is now just one point out of the fifth and final playoff spot currently occupied by United. However, United does have the scant comfort of having three games in hand.
United went into this match on a four-game road losing streak and Olsen made what will surely be a very highly scrutinized decision to make multiple changes to his winning lineup from this past Wednesday’s 4-2 win over Chicago. However, with 5 matches in a 14 day stretch, key players would have to get some rest at some point and Olsen decided today was that day. For the first twenty minutes, it seemed a prudent decision as neither team threatened goal. However a United mistake in defense allowed Montreal to score the opener in the 24th minute. Marco Di Vaio, who at this point had already been whistled for offside four times, got behind a United offside trap but new defender Mike Chabala didn’t get the memo and he kept the Italian onside and his curling shot from 12 yards easily beat Bill Hamid.
United got to the break in decent shape only allowing that singular opportunity. However just fives minutes into the second half an iffy penalty was whistled against defender Emiliano Dudar. Dudar went in with what appeared a perfectly legal shoulder charge in the box against Impact midfielder Colin Warner but the referee decided to point to the spot. Bernier converted his league-leading sixth penalty kick of the season and United were in big trouble.
Olsen brought on Branko Boskovic, Pontius and De Rosario and the offense perked up but nothing came of it except for one chance where former United goalkeeper Toy Perkins made a very good save on a goal bound effort from Marcelo Saragosa and then United had a goal called back when it was judged to be a foul on Pontius interfering with Perkins. Replays sh0wed Pontius was shoved into the goalkeeper who had initially mishandled the ball.
Bernier sealed United’s fate when his long run and eventual shot deflected off the boot of Brandon McDonald and past the already committed Hamid an into the empty net.
United must now pick themselves up from yet another pitiful road result and try to gain those points back against Red Bull on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium