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Impact trounce Union, 3-0

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A lethargic loss sends the Union down the standings.

MLS: Montreal Impact at Philadelphia Union
He’s spitting on the Union’s playoff chances.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After repelling a listless Philadelphia Union side’s half-hearted advances for more than an hour, the Montreal Impact struck thrice. Blerim Dzemaili blasted one past John McCarthy in the 69th, then he and Ignacio Piatti added a few more in stoppage time.

Montreal was clearly the better team in the first half despite slick grass sending players slipping and sliding across the pitch. The Union couldn’t connect on many of their long crosses as the offense faltered for most of the first half.

Montreal, led by Ignacio Piatti, looked the more dangerous side going forward. In spite of this; however, both sides were all square with each side only registering one shot on goal a piece in the first half.

The total snoozefest of a match continued well into the second half until Piatti danced through two Union defenders to send a great through ball to Blerim Dzemaili. Dzemaili was turned away from net by a great save from John McCarthy in the 63rd minute.

The Union quickly followed up that great save with their best goalscoring opportunity of the night. In the 66th minute, off a Haris Medunjanin corner kick, Giliano Wijnaldum smacked the post with a shot following a large scramble in the box.

Capitalizing on their superior offensive performance on the night, Montreal finally got the tie-breaking goal in the 69th minute. This time Blerim Dzemaili would not be denied as he beat McCarthy with an absolute rocket right down the middle of the net to put the Impact up a goal in the match.

From there, the Impact had little trouble killing off the match, even as Jim Curtin threw the offensive kitchen sink to try to rescue a result at home.

While only down a goal going into stoppage time, the Union had an abysmal collapse leading to two goals in the final five minutes. First, the Impact were awarded a penalty when John McCarthy tripped up Dzemaili. Piatti stepped up to hammer home the penalty kick to all but asure Montreal of all three points on the night.

For good measure, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Dzemaili notched his brace with a curling shot to the far post past McCarthy again to complete a resounding 3-0 victory for the Impact.

The whistle blew a few seconds later as the remaining crowd smattered the team with resounding boos. For a team that only registered two shots on target the entire game, in addition to their sloppy play, the boos were well-deserved.

Curtin lamented what he called “a disappointing performance from the whole group” in the post-game press conference.

In injury news from the match, Josh Yaro made his second start of the 2017 MLS season tonight as Oguchi Onyewu was sidelined with a groin injury.

With ten games left to play, the Union are now in ninth place (tenth place if going by points per game) in the Eastern Conference. With a six-point deficit between them and sixth place Columbus Crew, the Union will now go on a two-game road trip against San Jose Earthquakes and Toronto FC. With the season’s end quickly approaching, two very tough matches against top opponents in MLS will not make a playoff push any easier for the Union.