SPORTS

Montreal Impact fall 2-1 to Philadelphia Union after wild finish at PPL Park

07/14/2012 09:28 EDT | Updated 09/13/2012 05:12 EDT
CHESTER, Pa. - Montreal Impact manager Jesse Marsch could barely believe his team managed to lose 2-1 to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night.

In a frenzied finish at PPL Park, Montreal (6-12-3) appeared to have earned a well-deserved draw after scoring an 89th-minute equalizer through a Philadelphia own goal. But Union captain Carlos Valdes scored in the 91st minute to reclaim the lead and clinch the victory.

"That’s a game that we should win," said Marsch. “We fight back, and it’s a draw. There are no words to describe how we gave that game away."

It started in the 82nd minute, when Philadelphia’s Lionard Pajoy finally broke the deadlock. Rookie Antoine Hoppenot slipped behind the Montreal defence and poked a ball into the box that took a deflection off two Impact players before Pajoy roofed a shot from one yard out.

Desperately needing an equalizer, Patrice Bernier drove an 89th minute corner kick into the Union box. Goalkeeper Zac MacMath jumped for the ball, but collided with Keon Daniel, and the ball bounced into the Union net.

But Valdes would score the winner just minutes later, latching onto a Sheanon Williams throw-in and beating Ricketts from a tight angle inside the box.

"We had the better chances in the game. The way we lose this game, it leaves me speechless," said Marsch. "It leaves me unable to describe, because it’s happened too many times.”

The Impact sit eighth in the Eastern Conference with 21 points, one point ahead of Philadelphia (6-9-2) and five ahead of last-place Toronto FC.

Impact midfielder Justin Mapp, who played for the Union in 2010 and 2011, said Philadelphia didn't deserve the two late goals.

"These are the games we have to get points out of — tough games on the road," he said. "We’ve had several games like that this year, that we just let slip away. It’s unacceptable, it’s just frustrating."

Montreal outshot Philadelphia 14 to eight.

Designated player Marco Di Vaio had several good chances to open his Impact scoring scoring account, but was twice robbed by MacMath in one-on-one situations. Marsch said it was obvious the Italian was frustrated not to score.

"It’s just not falling for him," said Marsch, adding that Di Vaio still played well. "I still think he’s a guy who’s going to score a lot of goals in this league, for sure. It’s just now trying to get that first one for him so he can get himself going."

The loss is Montreal’s third in the last four games. They will host New England on Wednesday night before travelling to Houston for a match on July 21.

Marsch said it's now essential to start turning good performances into results.

"We’ve got to push forward," said Marsch. "There’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves. Fortunately, that’s been the message all year."

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