SANDY, Utah – Optimism was in short supply in the Montreal locker-room after the Montreal Impact found a new way to lose on the road on Thursday night.
This time, it was a second-half red card that did them in.
Real Salt Lake forward Olmes Garcia scored two second-half goals — both coming after Issey Nakajima-Farran was sent off in the 65th minute — to lead Salt Lake to a 3-1 victory over the Impact and hand Montreal it’s fourth straight loss.
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The Impact (3-11-5) still have not won a MLS road match this season.
“I’m worried about the team,” said Impact coach Frank Klopas.
“That’s it because it just seems like whatever can go wrong has gone wrong for us. We just got to find a way to get out, keep working and try to get a result. Maybe we’ll snap out of it.”
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Montreal has not won a game away from home since defeating New England 4-2 on Sept. 8, 2013.
Salt Lake (8-4-8) won for just the second time in its last nine MLS matches.
Nakajima-Farran earned a red card for bringing his studs up on a challenge against Chris Schuler.
The call left Montreal a man down after it had rallied from a 1-0 deficit late in the first half.
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“We had a decent hold on keeping the fort held down for a while and then the red card changed the game,” Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush said.
Montreal dug a hole for itself before the match was even a few minutes old when the Impact failed to clear out a deflected corner kick.
Luke Mullholland made them pay for the mistake. When Schuler headed the ball upward to keep it alive, Mullholland slipped under it before it could touch the ground.
From there, he blasted a shot inside the left post to give Salt Lake a 1-0 lead in the third minute.
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Hassoun Camara tied the game in the 31st minute. Calum Mallace laid the ball off to Camara at the top of the box, and he blasted it home inside the left post.
Montreal kept the game tied 1-1 after a great defensive play from Bush and Krzysztof Krol.
Javier Morales attacked at the right post after receiving a cross from Chris Wingert but Bush denied him on the doorstep.
Garcia, trying to collect the rebound and slip it past the line, was also stopped by Bush.
Krol quickly cleared the ball out to prevent Salt Lake from getting a third shot.
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“We knew that Salt Lake was going to push their outside backs forward and in transition we were going to get opportunities,” Bush said.
“If we could just stay tight defensively, we thought we could get a couple on the break. Unfortunately, the red card killed our numbers going forward.”
Salt Lake wasted no time making the suddenly shorthanded Impact pay.
RSL reclaimed a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute on a header from Garcia.
Morales crossed the ball to Garcia at the top of the six.
He out-jumped multiple Montreal players surrounding him to get his head under the ball and whip it inside the far post.
Garcia picked up his second goal in the 93rd minute when Morales flicked the ball to him at the top of the box and he raced down the right side before firing it inside the far post again.
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Klopas says the red card altered the match just as Montreal was building momentum.
“It changed everything,” Klopas said.
“I don’t know what else could go wrong. It just seems everything goes wrong with us. We have a chance on the breakaway. Both players go down. Both players have studs up and we get the red card.”
The Impact host the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
©2014The Canadian Press