Marco Di Vaio broke out of a six-week scoring drought with both goals for Montreal in their 2-1 win tonight over D.C. United at Stade Saputo in Montreal, Canada. The loss for United brings their road record to 0-9-3 on the season with only 3 goals scored in those matches.
Di Vaio scored in the final minute of the first half to give Montreal the lead after a non-call for handball by referee Ismail Elfath in front of the Montreal penalty area was ignored and play moved on. The Impact swiftly moved up field and in spite of the non-call, United appeared to have plenty of numbers in the area to defend Justin Mapp’s cross. However a clever dummy run from Felipe took two United defenders out on the play and Di Vaio curled a one-time shot into the upper corner past Bill Hamid for a 1-0 lead at the half.
United started off the match very poorly with a number of self-inflicted wounds defensively that should have seen the Black-and-Red down by at least a goal inside of the first ten minutes. Hamid came up big on a one-v-one save opportunity deep in the penalty area to keep United even with Montreal. After that harrowing first ten minutes, United settled into the match and started to create a few opportunities of their own the best of which came off the foot of captain Dwayne De Rosario in the 38th minute. Perry Kitchen forced a turnover in midfield and fed Porter who’s one-time pass met DeRo in stride heading towards goal . Former United goalkeeper Troy Perkins was quick off his line to cut down the angle and force De Ro’s chip attempt over the bar.
After the break it was the visitors who were starting to dominate the run of play. United had multiple opportunities to level the match but their season-long bugaboo of not finishing off sequences with any quality was starting to rear it’s ugly head once again.
After a truly bizarre sequence in the 72nd minute that saw both head coaches sent off by Elfath, United did finally find their equalizer in the 81st minute. Substitute Conor Doyle scored his second goal of the season (both against Montreal) after a nice feed from Luis Silva and United thought they at least had a very hard earned point. However, just two minutes later, another season-long anchor around the neck of the leagues poorest team allowed the home side to take the victory.
A seemingly harmless ball was put over the top to Di Vaio down the left-side channel into the penalty area. United defender Dejan Jakovic was step-for-step with Di Vaio but inexplicably allowed Di Vaio to easily cut to his preferred right peg and then the Italian curled his shot again into the upper corner past Hamid for the game-winner.
United now will have a rare opportunity to host another struggling side when Toronto FC comes to RFK Stadium next Saturday night at 7pm.