Felipe: “The whole team needs to do better on set pieces, especially on the road.” (Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)
MONTREAL — The Red Bulls’ road woes continued Saturday night as their losing streak away from Harrison, N.J. reached six games.
New York, eliminated by Montreal in last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals, still could not find a way to solve its neighbors to the north via a 1-0 defeat at Stade Saputo.
Since their 2-1 away win at Atlanta United March 4, the Red Bulls have failed to secure any points away from Red Bull Arena.
“I thought we controlled major parts of the game and the game played out in ways we wanted it to,” Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch said. “We did not allow them to go on the break too much. But we gave up another set piece goal, we shut down for one second and it cost us. We are not able to score on the road, so that’s the most difficult thing to come up with a solution. On the road, we go down, we can’t score and we can’t take a lead.”
Moreover, they have been outscored there, 15-4, and haven’t celebrated a road goal in 437 minutes or since a 4-1 defeat at the Houston Dynamo April 1.
They have been blanked four consecutive times on the road and fell below .500 at 6-7-2 while Impact improved to 4-4-4.
“This year, for whatever reason, we are cold and cannot finish our plays,” Marsch said. “In two years, we scored a lot of goals on the road. In each one of these games, when it is 0-0, we have good chances, but cannot capitalize. It puts pressure on our back line and more pressure on our team on the road. We end up caving and giving goals. Tonight, it’s a bad goal to give up.”
While goalkeeper Luis Robles stood on his head, making several vital and spectacular saves to keep the visitors in the match, he proved that he was no miracle worker on the winning goal in the 67th minute.
That’s when the Impact caught the Red Bulls napping on a quick free kick. After a couple of passes, Ignacio Piatti finally passed to Blerim Dzemaili on the right wing and the Designated Player tallied his first goal in his MLS career.
Asked what transpired on the goal, Red Bulls midfielder Felipe replied, “There were a couple things. One, we shut down and let them play quick, and after we have to track the guys. Again, we are in this together and the whole team needs to do better on set pieces, especially on the road.”
Goalkeeper Evan Bush preserved the clean sheet, saving a free kick by former Montreal midfielder Felipe from just outside the penalty area in the 83rd minute.
The Impact had eliminated the Red Bulls from the playoffs last year.
“We knew they would try to get back at us after the playoffs last year,” said Montreal forward Dominic Oduro, a former Red Bull. “We could have had a couple more goals in attack, but we have the three points.”
The Red Bulls will have off until June 14, when they host Hudson River Derby rival New York City FC in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup at Red Bull Arena.