1 Point For A Little Impact

FC Dallas is fighting to get back in the race. Photo Courtesy: Ultras Montreal
FC Dallas is fighting to get back in the race. Photo Courtesy: Ultras Montreal

By Will Martin

Sometimes when two mirrors are in the same room you still get the same reflection and will not like what you are undoubtedly going to see.

Pick your verbiage, name your adjective, the following shall hold accurate.

Average, apathetic, indifferent, status quo, maybe even typical.

The only difference? One of the mirrors has a better rating in their division of reflection.

In this case we are talking about the fates of the Montreal Impact – now winless in five games, and FC Dallas – now losers of the last seven-meeting up Saturday night before a sold out Stade Saputo crowd of 20, 801.

Much ado about a whole lot of…nothing. FC Dallas has now gone four straight games without a goal, yet to hear Schellas Hyndman speak after the game the draw was a good thing.

“With the players we left at home, the positive thing is that we are leaving here with a point,” Hyndman said. “And right now, we needed something positive.”

Two teams mired in offensive futility. The Impact sitting in second place in the East with 32 points while FC Dallas also has 32 points albeit in 5th place in the West with an 8-5-8 record. Not the kind of reflection Schellas Hyndman was wishing for his team.

In the name of keep away and ball possession-Advantage Montreal by a 62% to 38% count. If you want to go by shots on goal-Advantage Montreal by a 4-2 total. Care to go the avenue of shots attempted? Again the Impact with a higher total 15-6. Blocked shots? Impact 6-1. Corner kicks? Montreal 5-2.

FC Dallas was lucky to get a point with Fabian Castillo suspended and without Blas Perez (playing with team Panama). This also meant playing time for Eric Hassli. It would come at a cost.

“I am very tired, but I did what I could,” Hassli said. “The objective was to stay united and contain them. We knew it was going to be difficult today.”

Team Impact played a very offensive minded mode of attack led by Daniele Paponi and Justin Mapp. Three minutes Montreal almost got on the board early on a Felipe pass that split defenders Jair Benitez and Matt Hedges to Paponi. Before a goal kick could be attempted Benitez would kick it away.

In the 10th minute Eric Hassli was almost able to give FC Dallas something it has not seen in weeks-a lead of any kind-his shot on goal (with back to net) tipped nicely at the last minute by Montreal goalie Troy Perkins.

A header attempted by Je-Vaughn Watson in the 36th minute also met the ready and able arms of Perkins.

Raul Fernandez in the draw would accrue his league tying seventh shutout of the 2013 season.

If there indeed was a bright spot it was seeing the return of George John after three weeks away with a hamstring issue. Alongside his fellow defenders Jair Benitez, Matt Hedges, and Zach Loyd FC Dallas successfully made some great stops when Justin Mapp neared their goal with little support or impact. The Frisco Foursome cleared the box time and again.

After the game George John had nothing but positives about Mapp.

“Mapp had a tremendous game by far, and we had trouble stopping him,” John said. “But we did a good job dealing with the crosses.”

On Montreal’s behalf the draw still meant being winless in five starts yet one Montreal player senses progress with the team.

“Our performance was like night and day when comparing our last few games,” the Impact’s Patrice Bernier said. “We pushed, and we controlled the game well.”

FC Dallas now gets to enjoy a bye week while entertaining fans to an international friendly game with Stoke City FC of the EPL East side beginning at 8pm.