Silly mistakes sink Impact in 3-0 loss to D.C. United

Silly mistakes sink Impact in 3-0 loss to D.C. United
The visitors scored off a free kick and from the corner as they raced to a 3-0 lead in the first half of what was a must-win game for both sides.

The win moved D.C. United into fourth place in the MLS Eastern Conference with 42 points. D.C. United opened a five-point lead over the Impact, which has only two wins in its last 11 MLS games (2-8-1). Montreal dropped out of the seventh and final playoff spot, but there was some good news from Foxboro, where the New England Revolution scored in the 86th minute to tie Toronto FC 1-1. New England is in sixth place with 39 points for a two-point edge over Montreal, while Toronto FC is seventh with 38 points.

D.C. United midfielder Ulises Segura (8) collides with Impact defender Jukka Raitala at Saputo Stadium in Montreal on Saturday, August 31, 2019. Eric Bolte / USA TODAY Sports

D.C. United was playing without suspended superstar Wayne Rooney, but Ola Kamara stepped up to play a role in all three D.C. United goals in the first half.

The Impact gave up a free kick from 30 yards out when Rudy Camacho was shown a yellow card for tripping Lucas Rodriguez. Junior Moreno’s free kick found its way through the wall off Orji Okwonkwo’s shoulder and Kamara picked up the ball on the far side and beat Evan Bush with a shot to the right post in the 20th minute.

D.C. United moved the ball the length of the field with one touch to go up 2-0 in the 23rd minute. Bill Hamid’s goal kick was headed forward by Kamara at midfield and Paul Arriola scored after outracing three Montreal defenders. Kamara went over Samuel Piette to head the ball and the replay indicated he might have been guilty of a foul, but there was no call.

Kamara used his head to give D.C. United its 3-0 lead in the 32nd minute. Felipe, the former Impact midfielder, put a corner kick into the box and Frédéric Brillant headed the ball toward the goal. Bush moved to his left to play the ball, but was unable to change direction when Kamara flicked a header against the grain.

Coach Wilmer Cabrera said the loss was the result of “silly mistakes.”

“Those three goals happened too quick,” Cabrera said. “We let a ball go through the wall and we got caught on the second goal, and then we didn’t defend well on the corner.”

“There were three really bad goals,” said defender Daniel Lovitz. “Going in, you can’t game plan for that. It’s very disappointing to put ourselves in a hole at home in a game that was very important for us.”

Cabrera tried to put a positive spin by talking about his team having 65-per-cent possession in the second half and dominating the game, but the reality is D.C. United was content to drop back and play defence. While the Impact pushed the ball forward and outshot the visitors 17-3  in the second half, only three shots were on target and Hamid didn’t have to make any difficult saves.

Cabrera said his players were tired as they played their third game in eight days and their eighth game in August, but Lovitz and fellow defender Jukka Raitala both refused to use fatigue as an excuse.

“There’s a real fact that we logged a lot of minutes this week, but you have to do what you have to do,” Lovitz said.

The Impact doesn’t play again until Sept. 14 when last-place FC Cincinnati visits Saputo Stadium. The two-week break will be welcome because several of Saturday’s starters have been playing through injures and the Impact is also hoping Ignacio Piatti will have recovered from his groin injury.
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