The Montreal Impact’s visit to Red Bull Arena was a tale of two halves.
The Impact controlled the pace of the match for much of the first half. They dominated play in the midfield and looked to be well on their way to their first MLS win.
The Impact opened the scoring when Sanna Nyassi took advantage of a Markus Holgersson mishap in the box. The Red Bulls quickly replied, however, when Thierry Henry put away a Rafael Marquez cross with a header just 10 minutes later.
The Impact were able to regain the lead with a long range shot from Justin Mapp, but quickly gave it back on a penalty after Matteo Ferrari took down Dax McCarty in the box.
If not for two small defensive lapses, the Impact would have had a commanding two-goal lead heading into the second half. Unfortunately for the Impact, Henry simply seemed fed up with trading goals and decided to take the game over after the break.
The French superstar showed world-class patience controlling the ball at the top of the box before blasting a shot by Donovan Ricketts in the 56th minute. Henry then assisted on a Mehdi Ballouchy goal in the 72nd with a brilliant back heel, and he ended his day by capitalizing on a juicy rebound off Ricketts in the 89th.
Nyassi was a nightmare for the Red Bulls throughout the first half. His superior speed forced the Red Bulls back line to play the ball much quicker than they would have liked and seemed to prevent them from organizing their attack.
Mapp had his best game for the Impact. He had three shots on goal, displayed effective passing in the midfield, and was solid defensively as he broke up a number of Red Bull advances.
Henry was absolutely brilliant in this game. The Impact’s defense simply had no answer for his size, athleticism and soccer sense. He made Ferrari look weak on the first goal, he froze both central defenders on the second goal and he blew by the entire Impact defense on his third goal. He alone was worth the price of admission.
Bernardo Corradi was invisible for most of the game. He didn't have the pace to keep up with the much quicker Nyassi and seemed to be consistently behind the play. Hopefully, for the Impact, he’s still getting into game shape after joining the team late in training camp.
Ferrari had his weakest game for the Impact. He let Henry get past him on the first goal and conceded the penalty that led to the second. The calm demeanor he showed in his first three games was nowhere to be found.
The Impact are on the road again as they play Real Salt Lake on Wednesday. Real is 3-1 on the season and sits atop the Western Conference. After his performance against New York, and because of his age, sitting Corradi in favor of Justin Braun would be prudent.
For more on the Montreal sports scene, go to The Montreal Sports Report.
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