The Houston Dynamo hoped to get their first win on the road this season as they traveled to Montreal in Quebec, Canada to face the Montreal Impact. The Dynamo have struggled lately to find the back of the net as they have only scored 2 goals in their previous 5 matches. Meanwhile the defense has come down with the injury bug as left back DaMarcus Beasley, starting goalkeeper Tyler Deric, and center backs Raul Rodriguez and Agus all missed the game due to various ailments.
Interim manager Wade Barrett lined up the Dynamo in a familiar 4-1-4-1 rather than the 4-4-2 which many fans believed we needed. With Alex Lima serving a red card suspension it allowed Barrett to insert Cristian Maidana alongside Ricardo Clark in central midfield with Collen Warner behind them.
The Dynamo started the game off by pressing high and showing off a lot of energy. Forward Will Bruin would get a chance in the opening minutes as he was able to take the ball and turn inside the box, but his shot went right to Montreal Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush. The Impact would create their own chance in the 7th minute as Ignacio Patti capitalized on a ball that went across the Dynamo box, but his near post shot went wide of Dynamo keeper Joe Willis and the net.
The two sides would exchange close opportunities on goal as Matteo Mancosu would be 1v1 with Willis, but the keeper did well to stop a close shot on goal. Houston would respond with Will Bruin in behind the defensive line but his shot across the mouth of goal just went out and Bruin would shout for a corner kick as Bush appeared to have deflected the shot - something the referee was not interested in giving the Dynamo.
Montreal would have another quality chance on goal, but one that was squandered. An unmarked Hassoun Camara took a cross in the box and tried to volley the cross into the net, but it was poorly taken. In the 21st minute Andrew Wenger would take on his former club, the one that drafted him, as he moved through the midfield and picked out Will Bruin. Wenger would regain possession and find Ricardo Clark near the top of the box, but Clark opted to pass to Oscar Boniek Garcia rather than take the effort himself. Boniek promptly shot a curling ball that went wide of the far post.
The next stretch of the game saw both sides settling down and picking their chances more carefully. A few fouls by each side stopped some momentum from being developed and most of the possession each side had largely featured passes backwards. Montreal would have one solid chance as Mancosu got behind the defensive line, but as he closed in on Joe Willis, Jalil Anibaba was able to close the angle and force the shot out for a corner kick.
Ricardo Clark would bring down Hernan Bernadello a few yards in front of the 18 yard box which featured some theatrics by Bernadello. The free kick, taken by Laurent Ciman, spun in low to Willis which may have been more difficult to save than it looked.
The two sides would head to their respective locker rooms level 0-0. Although the Dynamo began the game in charge as they limited Montreal playmakers on the ball by pressing higher, which created their own chances, the Impact would rally and force Houston to sit in which changed the momentum in favor of the home side.
The Dynamo came out strong to start the 2nd half as the team capitalized on a poor turnover by Montreal in the opening seconds which led to Will Bruin earning a corner kick. Bruin would be in another shooting position as he once again got behind the Montreal defense but was quickly tracked down by 3 defenders. Bruin's shot would be blasted towards GK Bush, but it was easily saved.
Ricardo Clark would be forced to come off after appearing to injure his groin which allowed former Impact central midfielder Eric Alexander to take the pitch in his place. In the 56th minute Piatti picked out Mancuso inside the 6 yard box, but a brilliant sliding challenge by Sheanon Williams prevented the shot and forced a corner kick.
In the 61st minute Piatti was at it again as he nearly picked out substitute Michael Salazar, but he was brought down by Sheanon Williams who saw a yellow card for the challenge. Ciman's free kick curled just over the top right of the corner of the goal.
The Dynamo would have one of their closest chances of the evening in the 67th minute as Cristian Maidana's free kick to David Horst was headed down, but Bush once again was able to make the save to deny the opening goal of the night.
Just after Mauro Manotas would come on for Andrew Wenger, a poor give away in the midfield by Eric Alexander allowed Matteo Mancosu to open up the scoring at Stade Saputo. Alexander had a chance to redeem himself as he navigated through the midfield traffic and drew a foul. He elected to take the free kick quickly to Abdoulie Mansally, but Mansally was tripped up and somehow the center official chose to not blow the whistle this time.
Piatti nearly made it 2-0 in the 85th minute as he turned his defender and fired a low shot that struck the side bar. Then Mansally forced a very difficult save by Bush just after Rob Lovejoy was brought on for Oscar Boniek Garcia.
The Dynamo would end up falling to the Impact which continues their winless streak on the road. The few positives in this game were how the team started each half, but as usual, they sat in and allowed Montreal to possess more and more inside the Dynamo half. Of course, the game was decided by a single turnover that led to a goal, the Dynamo never rebounded well enough to threaten for an equalizer.
Next up for the squad will be Toronto FC at BBVA Compass Stadium at 7:45 CT.
Houston Dynamo: Joe Willis; Abdoulie Mansally, Jalil Anibaba, David Horst, Sheanon Williams; Collen Warner; Oscar Boniek Garcia (85' Rob Lovejoy), Cristian Maidana, Ricardo Clark (54' Eric Alexander), Andrew Wenger (74' Mauro Manotas); Will Bruin
Montreal Impact: Evan Bush; Ambroise Oyongo, Laurent Ciman, Victor Cabrera, Hassoun Camara; Hernan Bernadello, Marco Donadel (81' Callum Mallace), Patrice Bernier (69' Dominic Oduro); Ignacio Piatti, Matteo Mancosu, Harry Shipp (61' Michael Salazar)
76' Matteo Mancosu (Montreal)
41' Yellow card to David Horst (Houston)
61' Yellow card to Sheanon Williams (Houston)
86' Yellow Card to Hernan Bornadello (Montreal)