MONTREAL — No one took home the jug in this year’s second showing of the 2019 maple syrup war.
The Montreal Impact were held to a 0-0 draw to the visiting New England Revolution Saturday afternoon. For the Impact, who finally had the services of star player Ignacio Piatti, the draw had a bad aftertaste.
“I think that when you play at home, when you don’t win, it’s not a good operation,” Impact head coach Remi Garde said after the match. “We lost two points today, but not everything was negative. The fact that we didn’t concede a goal is always a good point and we created many chances in the first half, but overall we lost two points.”
The Impact had a strong showing in the first half. So much so that Revolution interim head coach Mike Lapper decided to make a substitution in the 35th minute. However Montreal converted none of its scoring chances, and that carried over to the second half.
“I think we need to work on that a little bit, as far as getting more energy on those moments and building on those moments,” Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush said. “Because I think that in the second half we weren’t nearly as dangerous as the first.”
With seven scoring chances created, Garde argued his team should have gotten the win.
“When you have positive moments in a game, you have to score. It’s difficult to create chances and we need to be more efficient.,” Garde said. “Honestly, I thought that if we would have been able to play the next 45 minutes on the same rhythm, with the same quality, we should have won that game.”
Piatti subs in, plays first minutes since March
Fans at Stade Saputo all stood up and cheered to the sight of Ignacio Piatti taking his substitute pinney off. Piatti came on in the 66th minute for Mathieu Choiniere and played his first minutes since March 16.
“I want to thank all of the fans, because I feel it when I’m on the field,” Piatti said. “It makes me want to give more for the team and for the supporters to make Montreal go forward.”
The Argentine showed flashes of his usual self in his 24 minutes of play but did not find the Impact’s sought-after goal. The Revs were a tough team for Piatti to play his first game back, according to Bush.
“He’s very good in space and New England weren’t in a situation where they would open up and give a player space,” Bush said. “They’re going to get a lot of guys behind the ball, they’re going to kick the playmakers when they have the ball, and that’s what Nacho ran into today.”
Heading into the Impact’s next game Friday against LAFC, Piatti is still not sure whether he’ll start.
“I train everyday. We will see. We will talk with Remi,” Piatti said. “We’re going to LA on Friday and we’ll see what happens.”
Bush, who sees him competing and rehabbing in training, isn’t sure if Piatti could start either. However, he wouldn’t be surprised if the Argentine got the nod from Garde in one of the next four games before the June break.
“As we go on — and we’ve seen it in training already — that it doesn’t take long for a guy like him to reach his peak form,” Bush said. “There were moments today where you saw it, and there will be a lot more moments as we get going.”