The Impact returned to Stade Saputo for the second time in less than a week defeating the San Jose Earthquakes by a score of 2-0. Although Montreal won the game they have been eliminated from the MLS playoff race, as the Columbus Crew defeated the New England Revolution tonight.
Due to the recent schedule crunch, Frank Klopas elected to make some changes to the lineup and rest a number of the veteran players such as Matteo Ferrari and Marco Di Vaio. Nacho Piatti continued his hot play creating the first chance of the game linking up with Jack McInerney. However, McInerney was not able to convert the opportunity. Montreal carried the play in the first half with Piatti, Duka, and Mallace commanding the midfield effectively.
Although Montreal played a solid first half neither team could find the scoresheet. Eric Miller also had success in the first half coming forward and providing an offensive push up the wing. Miller has really come into his own this season and has the potential to become a solid regular starter next season with the Impact. Klopas has shown a lot of confidence in the rookie and the young American is starting to pay dividends.
Midway through the second half Nacho Piatti had to come off with a knee injury and Marco Di Vaio came on to replace the Argentinian. This has been an ongoing injury that Piatti has been dealing with since coming to Montreal from San Lorenzo. Jack McInerney played arguably his best game in months and was rewarded with a goal in the 81st minute after the San Jose keeper bobbled the ball after a Di Vaio shot.
Although San Jose would have felt unlucky to see the goal go in the net, McInerney played a solid game and was rewarded for being in the right place at the right time. Montreal continued to boss the midfield even after Nacho Piatti was taken out of the game, and in the 88th minute newcomer Dilly Duka clinched the three points for the Impact.
Duka was able to take on a San Jose defender one-on-one and fire a shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net. Marco Di Vaio helped by providing a screen on the goal. Jeremy Gagnon-Laparé had a solid game at left back and his confidence grew steadily throughout the game.
In the second half, Gagnon-Laparé even got into the attack a number of times, much like Miller did in the first half. With all of the pressure off and the addition of Piatti, the Impact slowing seem to be buying into the system of Frank Klopas. One can tell that the confidence of the team has been steadily growing recently and the players are battling for one another.
The Impact now get a week off and will travel to Columbus next Saturday to face the Crew.