Recap | 11.8.20

D.C. United lost 3-2 to the Montreal Impact in their final match of the 2020 MLS Regular Season. With the loss, United were eliminated from playoff contention despite their late season surge, which saw them pick-up three wins and a draw in their last six matches.

D.C. United lined up in an attack-minded 3-5-2 formation, knowing that they needed three points to have a chance to qualify for the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Bill Hamid started in goal with Donovan Pines, Frédéric Brillant, Russell Canouse making up the back three in front of him. Julian Gressel and Edison Flores started as the two wingbacks while Júnior Moreno, Yamil Asad, and Moses Nyeman played as the three in the midfield. Gelmin Rivas and Erik Sorga were partnered up front.

The Black-and-Red started quickly, taking the lead in just the ninth minute of play. Julian Gressel whipped in an in-swinging corner kick to the back post where Donovan Pines out jumped the Montreal defense to head home his third goal of the season. The Impact responded quickly and found the equalizer just five minutes later as Bojan tapped home at the back post.

United restored their lead in the 34th minute, again finding the back of the net from a corner, this time through Ola Kamara, who entered the match as an early substitute in the first half replacing Gelmin Rivas who was withdrawn due to injury. Edison Flores fired in a cross to the front post, and Kamara was able to fend off multiple defenders and direct the header into the net. United took their 2-1 lead into the break.

The Black-and-Red had their chances to find a third early in the second half, most notably when Kamara found himself in behind the Impact defense with just the keeper to beat. The striker opted to lay it off to an on-rushing Gressel who had an open goal in front of him, only to see his pass deflect off an outstretched leg of an Impact defender. Montreal, who were fighting to qualify for the playoffs themselves, tied the match in the 74th minute when Victor Wanyama connected on a powerful header from a corner kick.

Paul Arriola entered the match as a second half substitute for his first appearance of the season after recovering from ACL reconstructive surgery from an injury suffered in preseason. His impact was immediate and he almost restored United’s lead moments after Montreal drew level. Yordy Reyna found the US International on the edge of the box and his curling effort went inches over the bar. As United continued to push for the winner, the Impact punished them on the counter and took the lead in the 88th minute as Romell Quioto side-footed home from close range.

Despite a season-high 18 shots and 54 percent possession of the ball over the course of the 90 minutes, United were unable to walk away with the three points needed. D.C. United finished the 2020 MLS Regular Season with a record of 5-6-12.