- Monday, 26 March 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
In its third game of the Major League Soccer season, the Montreal Impact of Sanna Nyassi (0-2-1) was shutout 2-0 by the Columbus Crew (1-1-0), Saturday, in front of 18,197 supporters at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Sanna’s Impact was forced to play most of the game a man down following a red card to defender Jeb Brovsky in the 19th minute, resulting from contact in the air with midfielder Milovan Petar Mirosevic Albornoz.
The very same Mirosevic opened the scoring in the 30th minute on a penalty, beating Impact goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts who dove to the opposite side. The penalty shot resulted from a foul called against Felipe Martins Campanholi on the Crew’s Emilio Rentería in the box.
The Crew doubled its lead off of a header from forward Olman Vargas López in the 66th minute. Defender Shaun Francis curled a cross towards the penalty area, where Vargas headed the ball passed Ricketts right side from point blank range.
“There’s frustration for obvious reasons,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “But even with 10 men, there were good stretches. We fought hard and played for each other. It seems that some bounces are not going our way, but we still have firm belief in who we are and what we are about.”
“A game sometimes throws out some different situations,” said Impact captain Davy Arnaud, who was moved to right back following the red card. “Our response to that red was good. As a new team, it may not have been a bad situation to deal with because when you go through tough moments together, you get to prove what you are about. I think we still gave them a tough game.”
The Impact’s first scoring chance came in the 16th minute as midfielder Justin Mapp sent a cross into the box. Forward Sanna Nyassi got a good header that was stopped point blank by goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum. The Gambian forward then got onto his own rebound far post, but his off-balance, short side shot was stopped by the diving keeper.
Ricketts came up big in the 41st minute, stopping a booming shot by Eddie Gaven with an outstretched right hand while diving to his right. Less than a minute later, midfielder Justin Mapp fired a left-footed blast of his own from 25 yards out that hammered the crossbar. During the first few minutes of the second half, forward Justin Braun outmuscled a Crew defender to win the ball at the top of the box, right side, but his rising shot was tipped over the bar by the keeper.
In the 59th minute, a cross into the box by the Crew was headed by Vargas from point blank range, but Ricketts made another diving save. In the 79th minute, striker Bernardo Corradi, who replaced Sanna Nyassi at halftime, brought down a long ball from Felipe, but his low shot just missed right side.
“It was a tough game but started quite well,” said Corradi. “Even if we played 70 minutes a man down, we still had chances to score. We should feel some confidence from that. We have to keep our heads up and keep working.” The Impact will play its next two games on the road; first versus the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, March 31. The club will then visit Real Salt Lake on April 4. The Impact will then play its next home game on April 7 against its Canadian rivals, Toronto FC.