Cherry Blossom Night: D.C. United vs Montreal Impact

Tuesday’s match in Washington between DC United and Montreal Impact ended as a 0-0 draw with neither team being able to outperform the other, despite an seemingly one-sided affair.

DC United were hoping to rebound at home from their 0-4 thrashing at the hands of Los Angeles FC in their next home match against Montreal. Despite the scoreline, United looked like the better team and created many more chances than their opponents despite being without their star striker Wayne Rooney, who was suspended due to the red card he received in the previous match against LAFC.

The first half looks uneventful on the scoresheet (possession was even and neither team had a shot on goal) but was full of action on the pitch. Each team worked tirelessly to gain momentum throughout the match, only to be met by equally hungry and determined opponents.

The second half brought more offensive advances by both teams but the majority of them came from DC United, who were able to work the ball up the field but seemed unable to put a quality shot on goal without Rooney.

Although most of the decent chances of the half were from DC, the chance that almost broke the deadlock came from Montreal in the 55th minute. Zachary Brault-Guillard found his way past the defense and in a one on one with Bill Hamid of DC, but Hamid made an incredible save, just getting a glove on a low driven shot to send it out of harm’s way.

The remainder of the match saw United failing to convert chance after chance, and both teams leaving with one point.

Although early in the season, the game has proven a window into each team’s skill and future for this season. The biggest takeaway from this game is that without Wayne Rooney DC United struggle to put points on the scoreboard. Their midfield and defense are decent, but their attack is heavily reliant on Rooney creating chances and catalyzing their offense. The players will need to improve individually and as a unit if they want to be able to perform without him.

On the other hand, the match proved Montreal’s resilience against quality teams away from home. This was the last of a six game away tour to start the season and Montreal, ending it with a 2-2-2 record, should be pleased with their results. The scrappy team they have shown themselves to be through these first six games now have the opportunity to play their brand at home, and are poised to start earning more points and rising up the table throughout the season.

Article by Daniel Friedman-Brown, contributor from Club Eleven Magazine.

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