The LA Galaxy came from behind to draw 2-2 with the Montreal Impact at Saputo Stadium in Wednesday’s Major League Soccer action.
Frank Klopas’ Impact had led 2-0 and looked set for victory, inspired by Ignacio Piatti, who assisted Marco di Vaio and netted himself, until a collapse that epitomised their campaign.
Form men Gyasi Zardes and Alan Gordon each notched, but the division’s best attack couldn’t breach its worst defence again, and the Galaxy lost ground to Seattle Sounders FC in the Supporters’ Shield race.
This was only the sides’ third meeting, with the previous clash in Quebec also ending in a stalemate.
Montreal made a bright start here, belying their lowly league position. In just the third minute, Piatti brilliantly set Di Vaio away, but with Dan Gargan recovering, the Italian could find only the side-netting. Then turning provider, the 38-year-old played in the unmarked Andres Romero, who inexplicably missed the target as Brian Rowe rushed from his goal-line.
However, the momentum was soon with Bruce Arena’s men. Zardes hacked wide in front of Evan Bush, before his strike-partner Robbie Keane dragged an effort in the same direction, and Stefan Iskizaki sliced horribly. Meanwhile, a Baggio Husidic dip provided a first test for the goalkeeper, who gathered at the second attempt.
Di Vaio retained a central role in the game though, and soon put the hosts in front. Piatti was again involved as his reverse pass fooled the Los Angeles back-line, allowing Dilly Duka to square for his teammate to net from close range.
Keane could have provided an immediate response as he slid onto Zardes’ low cross, but instead squeezed off target at the near post. While Ishizaki was next to have a go when his rocket was deflected behind, it was still the Irishman who offered the greatest threat, slaloming through multiple challenges to blast at Bush.
But two minutes before the interval, a counter-attack saw the Impact score again. Collecting the ball from Felipe Martins in the area, Piatti dummied inside, before rifling past Rowe to register his fourth goal in five MLS matches.
This advantage could have been instantly halved, however, had Hassoun Camara not contributed a superb block to Zardes’ finish, with Landon Donovan having already committed Bush.
The 23-year-old marksman was able to narrow the deficit with his first chance following the restart, though. Montreal failed to close down Marcelo Sarvas on the right, and his drive reached Zardes’ prod on the far side of the box, with Bush stranded once more.
And it didn’t take long for the Galaxy to draw level. Robbie Rogers had been expertly denied moments earlier, when Donovan slipped the ball to Keane, whose centre was touched in by substitute Gordon.
Di Viao couldn’t force his way past Rowe to reinstate the home lead, but he offered a crucial outlet in the closing stages as the Canadians scrapped their way to a point.
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