A goal in the 89th minute by Josh Henderson, his second of the night, lifted the Richmond Kickers to a 3-2 win over the Montreal Impact in a game played under hot, muggy conditions. Marco Ferruzzi scored the other goal for Richmond. Eduardo Sebrango scored both Montreal goals. The game was played before a crowd of 6,872 people, the second largest of the season.
Both teams got off to an energetic start despite the unbearable heat and humidity. Montreal midfielder Ze Roberto had the first chance of the game when he attempted a shot in the 5th minute but slipped and ended up shooting wide. Ferruzzi threatened in the 13th minute when he sent a rocket off a free kick that Montreal goalkeeper Greg Sutton managed to stop. In the 17th minute, the Impact slowed down their attack and was content to sent long balls into the Richmond end. Sebrango got the home team on the board first. He came down on the left side and sent a shot into the top right hand corner of the net. Kickers keeper Ronnie Pascale got his hand on the ball but the momentum carried it through into the back of the net. Montreal 1 Richmond 0.
Just four minutes later midfielder Tony Williams made a great run on the right side and crossed the ball into the box. Henderson, the first star of the game, was well positioned and headed the ball past Sutton to tie the score. Montreal 1 Richmond 1.
The Kickers tightened up their defense and foiled several Montreal chances after the goal. In the 40th minute, two Kickers defenders playing very sloppy defense set up the second Montreal goal. The defenders were passing the ball to each other when one sent a lazy pass right in front of Sebrango who intercepted the ball and shot a low soft shot under Pascale. Montreal 2 Richmond 1.
Sebrango started the second half by firing a point blank shot at Pascale but the keeper made the save. Both teams slowed down, no doubt due to the heat, and only sent long shots in. In the 58th minute, Montreal defender Drew Kopp shot well over the bar from a dangerous position. Three minutes later it was Mauro Biello's turn when he launched a rocket wide from well outside the box. The Impact picked up the play a notch and made several dangerous runs into Richmond territory but was stopped by the Kickers defense. Roberto had a chance to put the game away in the 70th minute but Pascale easily scooped his weak shot up. The Kickers tied the game in the 79th minute off a corner. Williams passed to Ferruzzi who sent a low hard shot into the top right corner of the net from 20 yards out. Montreal 2 Richmond 2.
In the 85th minute the Impact had another chance to win the game when a Mauro Biello free kick was headed wide by late substitute Nigel Henry. In the 89th minute, Williams picked up his third assist of the night when he passed the ball to a wide open Henderson who shot past Sutton from 10 feet out to put Richmond ahead for good. Richmond 3 Montreal 2.
Impact coach Bob Lilley was not too happy about the collapse of the team at the end. When talking about the team as a whole he said, "I don't think we played particularly well. We didn't defend well tonight. Richmond was active in our box." Sebrango, who notched his ninth and tenth goals of the year, was also disappointed at the loss. When asked about his game he said, "I think I can do better in the overall game. I try to work as hard as I can."
The Impact will now travel to Quebec City to play the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Friday before returning to Montreal next Wednesday to meet the surging Toronto Lynx.
Game notes: The Impact signed forward Gaspare Borsellino just before today's roster freeze deadline. The young striker played seven games with the team last year scoring one goal…the president of the Senegal Football Federation, Mr. El Hadji Malick Sy, attended the game…Midfielder Jason DiTullio is with Canada's youth team (U-20) this week.
Montreal 1 Sutton (GK), 2 Braz (sub. 18 Placentino 90), 8 Gervais, 13 Barker, 14 Kopp (16 Henry 75), 10 Roberto, 15 Leduc, 17 Bernier (5 Pizzolitto 69), 19 Fronimadis (21 Oliviero 52), 12 Sebrango (6 Rowland 75), Biello. Substitutes not used: 22 Shepherd (GK), 11 Kolic.
Richmond: 22 Pascale (GK), 16 McKay (8 Stockton 46), 25 Luzak, 5 Fox, 3 Knight, 9 Lekics (6 Ukrop 77), 20 Ferruzzi, 11 Williams, 26 Hayes, 14 Henderson, 10 Jeffrey. Substitutes not used: 1 Femia (GK), 12 Myers, 17 Strawbridge, 19 Burke, 4 Goodlet.
Goals: Montreal-Sebrango (20 & 40); Richmond-Henderson (24 & 89), Ferruzzi (79).
Cautions: Montreal-Leduc (18), Sebrango 62; Richmond-Fox (28).
Conditions: Very hot and muggy. Field dry.
Three stars of the game(picked by yours truly!): 1) Henderson 2) Sebrango 3) Jeffrey.