A record crowd of 19,225 spectators at Stade Saputo saw the Montreal Impact host Ligue 1 powerhouse l'Olympique Lyonnais. The game finished in a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and Lyon took the ''official win'' by winning in the penalty shoot-outs 4 to 2.
The opening goal was courtesy of l'Olympique Lyonnais via Jeremy Pied at the 28th minute. the play started from Pied who gave it to Lisandro Lopez just outside the box. After some quick movement from the Argentinean, he finds Yohan Gourcuff who lays it off for Pied (yes him again) and delivers a low powerful shot. 1-0 Lyon
The Montreal Impact responded later in the half thanks to Andrew Wenger. Patrice Bernier played a quick ball to Wenger around the right corner of the box. From his first touch, the ball deviates on his left and with a quick turn, Wenger positions himself for a left-shooted just outside the box and beats a world class goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris.
With a record crowd at Stade Saputo and a quality Ligue 1 and European club in Montreal, this was a fun spectacle for all sectors of the games: from marketing, to ambiance and even what was produced on the pitch.
More after the jump
Evan Bush, Captain America
With a total of eight saves, including a few key saves, it was a night for fans to re-discover the Evan Bush of the NASL days. It was a complete game for the Ohio native who combined free-kick saves, aggressiveness on corner kicks and a great back to back save on Jimmy Briand and then on Bafetimbi Gomis who went for the rebound. Bush's performance gave the team a needed confidence boost during the first 20 minutes of the game, heavily dominated by l'Olympique Lyonnais.
The Ohio native probably claimed a stake into Jesse Marsch's pecking order in the Montreal Impact goalkeepers. With Greg Sutton down to 3rd goalkeeper, Bush's excellent and complete performance puts him closer to the #1 spot between the posts.
Personally, do I think that the Montreal Impact would benefit from a hot goalkeeper against the New York Red Bulls? Yes . Will this happen with Jesse Marsch insisting that Donovan Ricketts is the team's #1 guy? probably not.
Alessandro Nesta: Did not miss a beat
The most cheered player on the pitch from his first touch of the game up until he came out in the second half: Alessandro Nesta. The Italian defender started the game next to Nelson Rivas, another ''new-comer'' for the club after a layoff of over 30 days, due to injury.
63 minutes in the legs was more than enough for Alessandro Nesta who looked comfortable, silky smooth on the pitch and directing traffic around the back line as per his usual self. He has proved , against a quick Olympique Lyonnais in the first half, that smart positioning and simple ball clearances do not require young legs. Nesta looked physically good with his trademark tackles to block a few shots, dangerous crosses headed out and good communication with his teammates.
Don't ask me, just ask Karl W. Ouimette who played as a right back for the 1st half under the supervision of one of the best defenders of his generation. Even better, the Impact's home grown player played center back alongside Nesta for almost 20 minutes: not bad for an internship gig.
MTL: GK- Evan Bush; D - Dennis Iapichino (Josh Gardner 45'), Alessandro Nesta (Matteo Ferrari 63'), Nelson Rivas (Calum Mallace 45'), Karl W. Ouimette; M - Sanna Nyassi (Evan James 63'), Patrice Bernier (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 45'), Felipe (Collen Warner 45'), Justin Mapp (Lamar Neagle 45'); F - Marco Di Vaio (Bajram Fetai 45'), Andrew Wenger (Eduardo Sebrango 45')
Subs not used: GK - Greg Sutton; D -Hassoun Camara
OL: GK - Hugo Lloris (Rémy Vercoutre 45'); D - Mouhamadou Dabo (Anthony Reveillère 61'), Aly Cissokho, Bakari Koné, Cris Marques (Samuel Untiti 60'); M - Clément Grenier (Kim Kallström 61'), Maxime Gonalons (Gueida Fofana 69'), Yoann Gourcuff; F - Jérémy Pied (Alexandre Lacazette 45'), Lisandro Lopez (Bafeimbi Gomis 33'), Jimmy Briand
OL - Pied (Lopez) 28'
MTL - Wenger (Bernier) 39'
MTL - Nesta 22'
OL - Cissokho 87'
OL - Goal - Cissokho (0-1)
MTL - Miss - Neagle (0-1)
OL - Goal - Koné (0-2)
MTL - Miss - Gardner (0-2)
OL - Goal - Fofana (0-3)
MTL - Goal - Ubiparipovic (1-3)
OL - Miss - Briand (1-3)
MTL - Goal - Mallace (2-3)
OL - Goal - Gomis (2-4)