MONTREAL, Quebec – The Montreal Impact and the LA Galaxy played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday in front of a record crowd of 60,860 spectators at the Olympic Stadium. The Impact is still undefeated at home with a 2-0-2 record in regular season play.
The Impact opened the scoring in the 8th minute when defender Nelson Rivas played a long ball from inside the Impact half that found forward Davy Arnaud sprinting in behind the Galaxy defence. Alone in front of goal, the Impact captain beat the sliding LA goalkeeper Brian Perk to score his second of the season and his seventh against the Galaxy. Rivas earned his first ever point in MLS with his assist, in his first start at home.
The Galaxy tied it up in the 62nd minute, when midfielder David Beckham curled a free-kick around the outside of the wall from about 25 yards out, just inside the right post, short side. His goal ended the Impact’s shutout streak of 259 minutes.
“We came here with some heavy legs, played a really good team and still managed to get a point,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “In this stadium, we have not lost as well, so that’s another positive. Even though we weren’t the sharpest today, getting the point when earlier in the year we might not have was big for us.”
A few scoring chances and key saves
In the 20th minute, midfielder Collen Warner broke down the right flank, carrying the ball all the way up from inside 30 yards in the Impact’s zone, and fired a low shot from the top of the box that just missed right of the LA keeper.
A free-kick in the 31st minute by midfielder Felipe found forward Bernardo Corradi deep, far post, but his header landed just on top of the net.
The Galaxy came close to tying it up in the 53rd minute, when Landon Donovan won a ball just outside the box, and fired a booming shot that was saved by goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, playing his former team for the first time, making a diving leap to his left to tip away the ball.
Then in the 64th minute, Ricketts was forced into two key saves. The Jamaican goalkeeper came out to challenge forward Robbie Keane after a through ball from David Beckham found him behind the defenders. Moments later, during a scramble that ensued as the initial save bounced around the box, the ball fell to Landon Donovan, who hammered one from about 15 yards out, but a charging Ricketts was able to block the shot going toward the right post.
“I do whatever I can to help my team win,” said Ricketts. “Today we were under a bit of pressure and I helped out the best I could. Sometimes they bail me out. I have an easy game like Portland, where I’m not busy, and other times I work like today. It’s a team effort.”
“With the great players they have, it can be considered a good result,” said Impact defender Hassoun Camara. “But we were going for the three points. We have to be satisfied with our performance. Now we go to training this week to work on getting a win next week.”
A new record
The Impact broke the all-time Canadian attendance record of 60,342 spectators for a professional soccer game, established on June 20, 1983, at BC Place, in a match between the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Seattle Sounders of the NASL.
This is the second time this season that over 58,000 people attended an Impact game, including the 2012 home opener versus the Chicago Fire with 58,912 at Olympic Stadium.
“Playing in front of 60,000 fans is incredible,” said David Beckham. “Wherever you play, that’s what you want. Home or away, even if people are for or against you, it’s great to play in this atmosphere. I want to thank the Impact fans. It was a great day for the game.”