The Philadelphia Union and Montreal Impact are level after the first 45 minutes of play at Stade Saputo.
After a 23 minute rain delay, the teams finally got the match underway. A rare bad play by Laurent Ciman in the second minute opened up Fafa Picault in Montreal’s 18 yard box, but either his pass to an oncoming Ilsinho was too hot or his shot was too wide and the chance was wasted.
The Union and Impact were both rather sloppy early on, with men on both teams slipping and falling on the wet pitch. Errant passes and players not staying in position though are harder to excuse on the weather, with both teams guilty of those offenses as well.
To be fair though, both defenses did well to snuff out most chances. The Union had a break down the left in the 17th minute but Fafa Picault’s cross to a wide open Ilsinho was well snuffed out.
A minute later, poor defending by the Union allowed Montreal to score. A great move by Chris Duvall lost Giliano Wijnaldum enough to allow him to get a great cross over to Michael Salazar, who split the seam between Oguchi Onyewu and Jack Elliott perfectly and headed the ball past John McCarthy to give the Impact an early lead.
The air seemed to be let out of the Union after that. The Union seemed to not be on the same page, turning the ball over with great frequency. Roland Alberg made his case for a permanent seat on the bench - his runs were slow, his passes were off the mark, his vision was lacking, and he picked up a terrible yellow card in the 29th minute.
On the positive side, both Jack Elliott and Ray Gaddis made some critical interceptions for the Union, and Warren Creavalle played the 8 very well, springing Fafa Picault on a couple of occasions. CJ Sapong was largely held in check by Laurent Ciman, as those two men battled it out in the trenches. To their credit, Montreal’s defense bent but didn’t break. They did however turn the ball over on a terrible pass from Duvall to Ciman. Fafa Picault intercepted the ball and hit one low and hard past Evan Bush to draw the Union level in the 44th minute.
Philadelphia Union: John McCarthy; Giliano Wijnaldum, Oguchi Onyewu, Jack Elliott, Ray Gaddis; Haris Medunjanin, Warren Creavalle; Fafa Picault, Roland Alberg, Ilsinho; CJ Sapong
Montreal Impact: Evan Bush; Daniel Lovitz, Kyle Fisher, Laurent Ciman, Chris Duvall; Hernan Bernardello, Louis Beland-Goyette; Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, Blerim Dzemaili, Michael Salazar; Matteo Mancuso
Scoring: Montreal Impact - Michael Salazar (18’), Philadelphia Union - Fafa Picault (44’)
Disciplinary: Montreal Impact - Louis Beland-Goyette (Yellow, 32’); Philadelphia Union - Roland Alberg (Yellow, 29’), Ray Gaddis (Yellow, 44’)