CHESTER, Pa. -- With a late flurry, Matteo Mancosu and the Montreal Impact ripped two points from the Union, as the two clubs played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night at Talen Energy Stadium.
“If you look at the run of the game, a good majority of the game, we were the better team,” said Union midfielder Warren Creavalle. “Dominated through possession, chances created. I think we were clearly the better team. It hurts.”
The draw was especially painful for the Union, who needed to pocket three points before heading on a tough three-game road swing against the Portland Timbers, Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls.
Now 11-10-8, the Union have 41 points, while the Impact, 9-8-11, remain in the chase for the fourth-spot in the Eastern Conference with 38.
“It’s one of those games that really stings,” said Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya. “It kind of feels like a loss. You come off the field real deflated, but hey, it’s the playoff push. We just have to keep our heads up and stay strong and stick together and get as many points as we can for the rest of the games before the playoffs.”
In the 88th minute and trailing by one, the Impact’s Hernan Bernardello chipped a ball into the box that was headed to the far post by Donny Toia. The volley just missed Creavalle and was easily placed home by Mancosu, locking the match at one.
“They played a short one, [Fabinho] and I stepped up off the line and the cross went in and took a deflection,” Creavalle said. “It took a weird bounce and threw me off. Unfortunately, he had a free one.”
But before disappointment filled Talen Energy Stadium, Tranquillo Barnetta put on a show.
“He’s a top player,” said Union manager Jim Curtin. “He’s been excellent for us all season. He wants to win so bad, he’s the most competitive guy in the team, and he’s upset that we dropped points tonight. He scored a great goal and bailed us out on what wasn’t our best first half.”
Working to grind through the stout Impact defense for nearly the entire first half, Barnetta scored that great goal in the 45th minute. The captain took possession to the top of the box and ripped a low, left-footed volley that split Eric Fronberg and the right post for the 1-0 Union advantage.
“I had a little bit of space and tried to find the corner,” Barnetta said. “I’m happy it went in.”
But like Curtin said, he wasn’t happy about the draw.
“We have to finish the game,” he said. “We didn’t, so we paid the price.”