Vancouver Whitecaps and the Montreal Impact played out a goalless draw at BC Place, as Major League Soccer returned from a two-week break with an all-Canadian clash.
The two goalkeepers excelled in a tight encounter that saw the goal-frames rattled on three separate occasions.
Despite dropping points to their lowly visitors, the point moved Vancouver up into third-place in the Western Conference – recording their eighth consecutive league match without defeat.
In search of their first away win of the season, the Impact made a busy start and initiated most of the early plays. Maxim Tissot’s fourth-minute deflected shot appeared to wrong-foot David Ousted, but the Dane reacted superbly to make a stunning one-handed save.
And it was from the same player’s free-kick that the Whitecaps stopper again had to be alert to claw Jack McInerney’s effort away from the goal-line, though as the ball fell back at the feet of the 21-year-old forward he was flagged offside.
As the hosts grew into the game, Darren Mattocks’ pace took him away from two Montreal defenders, but he fired wide of the near post as he bore down on goal. In almost identical circumstances, a lucky bounce at the other end let McInerney in, but he too missed the target.
Having failed to make the most of their dominance in the early stages, Frank Koplas’ men again pushed forward in search of gaining a potentially half-time lead. They were almost successful moments before the break, with Ousted spilling a cross before responding well to block Tissot’s strike.
Improvement was instantly evident in Vancouver’s attacks after the interval though, as Troy Perkins had to save first from Kekuta Manneh and then spectacularly from a low Pedro Morales free-kick.
With the match descending into a midfield slog, Gershon Koffie’s forward forays began to cause the Impact defence problems, and it was from one of these that Mattocks worked space but blazed wide.
Montreal’s riposte almost brought a first goal through Tissot, who lifted the ball over the retreating Ousted and was unfortunate to see his effort bounce down off the cross-bar. Then, 14 minutes from time, Perkins’ woodwork was also rattled – the 32-year-old’s close-range parry being turned onto the bar by Jordan Harvey’s volley.
Seven minutes later, McInerney incredibly directed his header against the Caps’ left upright, as both goalkeepers enjoying their fair share of good fortune.
By this point, a set-piece looked the most likely source of a goal and a right-wing corner bounce awkwardly in Perkins’ area, but the former Portland Timbers man was able to palm to safety.
That proved to be the final opportunity for either side though, as an uninspiring affair was brought to its conclusion with the score-line at a stalemate.
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