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MONTREAL Gazette — The Montreal Impact’s U21 team lost 2-0 to the Haitian national soccer team in a friendly match Saturday night at Saputo Stadium in front of 11,041 fans.
Striker Maurice Jean Eudes scored the game’s first goal in the 81st minute on a one-time shot from 16 yards out that deflected off an Impact defender before going in the net. Jean Philippe Peguero scored Haiti’s second goal on a header in the 88th minute.
Midfielder Gagnon-Laparé had the best chance for the Impact in the 73rd minute, but his shot from about 25 yards out missed to the right of the goal.
The Impact U21 team played the last 30 minutes with eight players from the club’s U18 team.
“We played a team at a higher level, but for the most part, the game was very positive and it was an excellent experience for the group,” Impact academy director Philippe Eullaffroy said after the game. “Over the past two weeks, we worked on defending as a block and we applied those principles fairly well tonight. However, if you put a lot of focus on the defensive side of the game and you play against a side with such experience, you are less effective offensively. We made adjustments at half-time in order to try some different things.”
Added Impact U21 captain Dominique Morin: “I’ve never experienced such a large and loud crowd at a game before. We started the game off a little nervous with the large crowd and the good results that Haiti has had recently against Spain and Italy, but we settled down and for the most part, played a good game defensively while still managing to push up the field on occasion.”
The game was presented by the Haitian Community Sports Association in collaboration with the Impact and the Haitian Football Association as the Haitian team prepares to play at the Gold Cup tournament later this month.
“We are in preparation for the World Cup, so it’s important for us to play a number of quality games,” Haitian assistant coach Pierre Roland Saint-Jean said. “I’d like to congratulate the Impact U21 team, the organizers of this game and all the supporters for making this night a success.”
The MLS Impact, which sits in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 9-3-2 record, four points ahead of the New York Red Bulls (7-5-4), returns to action on Saturday when the Colorado Rapids visit Saputo Stadium.