CARSON, Calif. — Sometimes a draw is good enough.
The Montreal Impact opened up their two-game west coast trip on Saturday with a 0-0 finish against the defending league champions L.A. Galaxy.
The Galaxy (13-8-8) came into the match with a six-game win streak at home in MLS action, so to walk away with a single point was good enough for Impact head coach Mauro Biello.
“I’m very proud of the way we played against one of the best teams in the league,” said Biello. “We were able to contain them for most of the game and we created chances. I’m happy with the effort that we put in. We managed the momentum tonight and we’re happy with the result.”
The Impact (9-11-5) had a pair of early scoring opportunities and another late in the match, but Donovan Ricketts, who finished with five saves for the Galaxy, used acrobatic saves and great positioning to thwart the Montreal attacks.
Ignacio Piatti found Justin Mapp on a break, but his left-footer toward the far post was poked away by the right hand of a diving Ricketts in the first minute.
About six minutes later, Piatti split four defenders a fired a shot from the top of the box but, once again, Ricketts dove a slapped it away. Andres Romero slammed home the rebound from the left flank, but was called offside.
Montreal ‘keeper Evan Bush made four saves for his fifth shutout of the year.
“It’s a very difficult place to play so it’s a fantastic result,” said Bush. “To keep a clean sheet against the defending champions on the road is even more impressive. The back line did very well. It was a great team effort.”
The Impact hold sixth place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Philadelphia Union with four games in hand. Los Angeles sits a point behind first-place Vancouver in the Western Conference standings.
Montreal will move on to San Jose to face the Earthquakes on Wednesday night.
With files from The Associate Press
The Canadian Press