Saturday, March 31, 2012

Henry's Hat Trick Down Impact 5-2

The New York Red Bulls blasted away the Montreal Impact by a scoreline of 5-2 inside Red Bull Arena on the last day of March. Montreal took the lead in the 18th minute via a combination of poor Red Bulls defense and the opportunistic play of Sanna Nyassi.

10 minutes later (28th min.) Thierry Henry equalized for the Red Bulls and 10 minutes after that (38th min.), Justin Mapp found the back of the net and put the Impact up 2-1.

That didn't last long, during stoppage time (48th min.) Dax McCarty drew a foul in the penalty box, resulting in a converted New York PK by Kenny Cooper.  His goal tied the score at 2-a-piece going into halftime. The awarded PK was controversial to say the least.

The ref was standing directly behind the play, a good 15 or so yards away. The Impact defender clearly kicked the ball away from McCarty before clipping him a bit and sending him down in the box. The announcers said the fact he knocked the ball out first had no baring on the play because he "scissor kicked" the McCarty to the ground.

After the break, Thierry Henry was a cut above the rest. He scored two goals in the last 45 minutes of play to finish off a hat-trick and Mehdi Ballouchy netted one as well. An avalanche of goals by New York, four unanswered to be exact, sunk Montreal in this one. The expansion squad will need to 1) regroup 2) shake off this loss as quickly as humanly possible and 3) start preparing for its April 4th contest against Real Salt Lake. Kickoff is set for 9:00pm ET from Rio Tinto Stadium.

Soccer analyst Alexi Lalas gave me his thoughts via Twitter, on the Impact's slow start and what could be in store for the club as they continue season one in MLS:

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