By RYAN TOLMICH
It looked to be an ideal start to the beginning of the Jack McInerney era in Montreal.
The 21-year-old striker, traded to the Impact just last week, debuted in style for his new club with a 43rd minute goal to give his side the lead.
However, a Quincy Amarikwa equalizer shortly after halftime spoiled both McInerney’s debut and Impact head coach Frank Klopas’ first match with his former club, the Chicago Fire, as the Impact were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in Montreal.
It was the Fire who came out of the gates hot with a first half of dominant possession. However, the newly acquired McInerney opened the scoring on the afternoon, giving the Impact a 1-0 lead just before the first-half whistle.
A streaking McInerney took advantage of poor passing by the Fire backline, dribbled forward and fired past a diving Sean Johnson for the game’s opener.
Amarikwa’s equalizer came just 10 minutes after the start of the second half. Fire forward Mike Magee fired past Perkins and off the post, but Amarikwa pounced on the rebound to tie the game at 1-1.
From there, the Fire continued threatening the Montreal goal, with Impact keeper Troy Perkins making four saves on the afternoon. However, neither team could find the goal to separate themselves, forcing the clubs to settle for a draw.
Overall, it was a disappointing result for Impact manager Klopas, who left the Fire after a disappointing end to their 2013 campaign.
With the draw, both teams continue their lackluster starts to their 2014 campaigns. The Impact now sit on three points through their first five games, while the Fire collect their fifth draw in six matches.
Here are the match highlights: