The Black-and-Red didn’t play an awful game, it was actually rather well played for the most part. The first eleven minutes or so just didn’t go there way, mostly in part to a 37-year old striker that refuses to act his age. There were just two miscues, but with a forward with the class of Didier Drogba, two is too much. United’s winless streak is now pushed to six games after the 2-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Impact. There wasn’t a huge advantage in shots like the last matchup, midway through the first half, Montreal had two shots. Unfortunately for D.C, those two shots resulted in two goals.
The first goal came just four minutes into the game, the opportunity came from a ball to Dominic Oduro played across the box. United’s Taylor Kemp was called for a handball, setting up the set piece opportunity for the Impact. He took the shot as the official let play go on as an advantage call, but after Hamid’s save, he called the original foul. Which gave the ball back to the home team. Drogba wasted no time showing off the class of player he is by making the most of a second chance. The Ivorian striker used a sensational touch to curl the ball over the wall in front of him and off the fingertips of the diving Hamid to beat the stellar keeper far post.
When it rains, it pours. The second goal came soon thereafter, the culprit was Markus Halsti who played a sloppy pass back to a defender. The opportunistic Drogba was all over it, he corralled the ball and sprinted towards the goal. He used his size to shield off United’s Steven Birnbaum before using a savage step-over to separate from the defender and create a great angle on the charging Hamid. Didier tallied his seventh goal of the season by playing the ball over the outstretched arms of Hamid who was in an unenviable position of closing down on one of the world’s best forwards.
D.C. stepped it up as expected after the second goal, but it wasn’t enough. For the second consecutive game they couldn’t finish in the attacking third. The best opportunity came in the first half off a blistering shot from Fabian Espindola, the Impact keeper couldn’t catch it cleanly and the rebound fell in front of the goal. United’s Chris Rolfe looked sure to get his eleventh score of the season, but his first touch wasn’t right and Montreal’s keeper was able to save it just in time.
This match looked like the old United team, not the one from the Crew game. The absence of Perry Kitchen was definitely evident as they were charged with the task of containing the explosive Impact midfield. It took some time, but United was able to put together a few solid stretches of possession. They weren’t able to finish, Montreal continued to attack, really using their speed and skill on the ball to open up the visitor’s defense. They weren’t able to put another goal on the scoreboard, although Drogba came very close to making his brace a hat trick. The Ivorian now has seven goals in six MLS matches, a ridiculous feat.
For the second consecutive game, United was denied clinching a playoff berth. They have to get it done sooner than later, their next chance comes on Friday at home as they host New York City FC.