Back Four Fails Impact as Sounders Earn a Draw With Late Will Bruin Goal

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MONTREAL, QC - March 11: Ignacio Piatti #10 of the Montreal Impact gets caught between Osvaldo Alonso #6 and Cristian Roldan #7 of the Seattle Sounders during the MLS game at Olympic Stadium on March 11, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

It looked like it was the usual suspects getting the job done for the Montreal Impact as the Seattle Sounders got off to another slow start. However, they could not hold on despite a two goal lead late in the second half. Defensive mistakes highlighted the Montreal breakdown as the Sounders earn a draw for the first point of their season.

Back Four Fails Impact as Sounders Earn a Draw With Late Will Bruin Goal

The Impact got on the board in the 17th minute with an attacking move that cut through a static Seattle back four. Ignacio Piatti’s perfectly played lofted pass found the feet of Matteo Mancosu, who easily rounded Stefan Frei before sliding a shot into a gaping net. Piatti had the set up and finished the second goal all on his own. He created a turnover in his own half before bolting down the pitch and firing a low shot past a diving Frei in the 51st minute.

The Sounders seemingly couldn’t get any attacking move to work. The team looked to be sinking to a 2-0 defeat until an 83rd minute penalty kick finish from Nicolas Lodeiro. That gave Seattle the life they needed to press forward and complete the comeback. They thought they had the equalizer in the final minute of regular time when Clint Dempsey found the back of the net, but the play was called back for a handball against Jordan Morris on the setup.

Seattle salvaged the draw with the final kick of the match. Montreal found themselves outnumbered in the penalty area and Will Bruin pounced on a rebound to smash home the tying goal.

Piatti the Star

Words aren’t enough to describe the contributions of Ignacio Piatti in this game. He had a spectacular assist on the opening goal and provided a wonderful individual effort on the second. His night was more than just those two moments, though. He took three shots, all on target, had an 83% pass completion rate, and generally made Roman Torres look silly in the Seattle back line with six dribbles around defenders. It was a shame that his own defense failed him in the end.

Rough Night for Laurent Ciman

Laurent Ciman did not have one of his best nights in a Montreal shirt. He was yellowed early on for a late challenge on Jordan Morris that gave Seattle their first real chance of the game. It was still 0-0 at the time and a free kick in a dangerous position gave the Sounders a little bit of life. Thankfully for Montreal, Clint Dempsey’s take was sent into the wall and cleared harmlessly away.

The bigger mistake was conceding a penalty in the 82nd minute. Another late challenge, this time on Oniel Fisher, allowed the Sounders to crawl back into the game when they simply couldn’t put anything together. In truth, the Belgian center back was lucky to remain in the game. The foul wasn’t much different from the one that provided his first yellow card and the referee pulling out a second would have been justified.

That allowed the Sounders to linger in this game. He also contributed to the overall team failure in defense during the final sequence of the match. The central defender wasn’t even in the thick of the scramble leading to the goal. Let me repeat that, because it bears repeating. The central defender wasn’t even defending the penalty area in the closing seconds of a one goal game. He only comes flying in from the outside when it was too late after failing to close down Cristian Roldan, who played the initial cross.

Another Slow Seattle Opening

Much like last week in Houston, the Sounders really struggled out of the gate. They had trouble hanging onto the ball before the Montreal goal. The Impact had 65% of possession when they scored in the 17th minute. They started to wake up a bit afterwards, but it still wasn’t much to speak of. They were able to put a few attacks together, but nothing was very threatening.

While the Sounders must be credited for their unrelenting attacks towards the end of the game, a stronger performance in the beginning may have been enough to secure a win in this one. They could have avoided putting themselves in a 2-0 hold for the second week in a row at least. There is also the fact that their comeback can be largely attributed to Montreal’s defensive failures. Until those mistakes came along, the Sounders were on a collision course with a 2-0 defeat and a point free first two games of their season.

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