There was plenty of fight in the dog.
On a night in which the Union displayed their first three goal effort since April 21 against D.C. United, it took a five goal effort, the first of the season for the Montreal Impact to pull away with a 5-3 win and remain unbeaten at Stade Saputo this year.
Impact forward Marco DiVaio scored a hat trick to lift his club and tie Union striker Jack McInerney in MLS' Golden Boot race. McInerney scored one of his own in the fifth, to equalize the game at one apiece taking a driver across the box from midfielder Michael Farfan and drilled it far post past Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
However, goals from DiVaio in the second, 28th and 32nd minute, coupled with tallies from Andrew Wenger (74th) and a clincher in stoppage time from Blake Smith squelched any chance of a Union comeback.
Mind you, a comeback that looked very likely after second half substitute Antoine Hoppenot scored in the 69th and a blistering left footed shot from Sebastien Le Toux, brought the Union to within one (4-3) in the 85th minute.
“We tried to come back and get ourselves in the game, we certainly did that,” said Union manager John Hackworth. “Then [the match] turns and the momentum that should go in our favor [does not] and we really mismanaged parts of the game.”
This one was a fast paced, physical match played in a steady downpour. And while the scoreline doesn’t reflect it, the Union was efficient in their minimal chances on goal, having just four chances on frame and still displaying a three goal output. Additionally, though there were gaps in the Union defense on a few occasions – ones that ultimately allowed DiVaio to have a career night – the offensive outburst still showed promise going forward into a long season, specifically to McInerney who made a point to point the notion out as a bright spot.
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“It’s good for our confidence, losing certainly isn’t but being able to put chances in the back of the net is good because you need goals to win games,” said McInerney. “Getting goals on the road is a good sign but when we give up so many chances in the back like we did tonight we are not going to get the results, so now it’s about going back to work and locking that down.”
Hoppenot who scored his first of the season on a long ball into the box that found the far post of Montreal's Perkins echoed McInerney’s sentiments.
“Two times we came back from two goals down and I think that shows a lot of resolve and that our team is always ready to fight,” said Hoppenot. “At the end of the day, we didn’t get the three points, but I think this shows that if we are goals down we can fight back and I am confident that will find us getting points and that it’ll only help us towards the end of the year.”
The Union fly back Sunday afternoon and on short rest will have to prepare for first round U.S. Open Cup play against the Ocean City Nor’Easters of USL PDL on Tuesday at PPL Park (7:30 p.m, purchase tickets). The beauty of a quick turnaround is that it offers an opportunity to get the bad taste of coming up short –even when you show fight – out of a club’s collective mindset heading into another three game in eight day stretch as the team returns to Canada on Saturday for an Eastern Conference clash against Toronto (6 p.m., The Comcast Network).
“You can’t this one linger for too long we still have a lot of games left,” said McInerney. “Obviously we have a game on Tuesday and a big game next Saturday on the road, so it’s time to regroup – and I think we’ll be okay…we’ll recover.”
Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org