After a rollercoaster season, the Montreal Impact have booked themselves a ticket into the 2015 MLS playoffs with a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution. This was the second time this season that the Impact defeated the Revolution, the first victory coming back on September 19th at Stade Saputo. The win leaves the Impact in 4th position in the Eastern Conference with one more match to come, against Toronto FC on the final match day of the season.
Sloppy First Half:
"This was a great team game and everyone contributed defensively tonight." - Didier Drogba
Even though the possession statistics might not have shown it, New England took the game to the Impact during the first 45 minutes. Just 5-minutes into the match, it looked as though the Impact's discipline problems could rear their ugly heads again after Johan Venegas pushed down Jermaine Jones after the play had ended. However, Didier Drogba came in and acted as the peacekeeper and helped diffuse the situation. The Revolution fired a warning shot in the 10th-minute as Jermaine Jones had a goal called back for being judged offside. Revolution player Chris Tierney sent in a perfect cross from the set piece for Jones, however unluckily for Jones he was just offside. The Impact had trouble moving the ball around and Didier Drogba dropped back to play the majority of the first half in the midfield.
Piatti Scores a Stunning Goal:
"We came here to win the game and we did." - Wandrille Lefèvre
The Impact came out for the second half looking better and able to move the ball around with a little more ease. The decisive moment of the match came in the 55th-minute as Ignacio Piatti won the ball in midfield, took on the Revolution defence and scored one of the Impact's nicest goals of the season. Piatti was able to loft the ball over New England keeper Booby Shuttleworth to make the match 1-0.
Back Four Keep their Nerve:
"We went on the road with a number of difficult games, including here in New England who lost just once at home this season. I'm proud of the group." - Mauro Biello
The defence for the Impact held firm for the final 30-minutes of the match lead again by Wandrille Lefèvre. The Canadian defender helped organize the backline and broke up many of the New England attacks.Unfortunately the Impact may have suffered another injury blow as Dilly Duka went off in the 56th-minute after appearing to suffer a head injury. This is of serious concern for Duka who has already suffered one concussion this season and missed significant time. With Romero's injury this could be another worry the Impact will have to deal with. Evan Bush played hero late in the match for the second time in two weeks making a crucial stop in injury time.
Playoffs baby!!— Evan Bush (@ebushel1) October 18, 2015
The Impact return to Stade Saputo next Sunday to take on Canadian rival Toronto FC. With both teams assured a place in the playoffs this match will be all about jockeying for position in the Eastern Conference standings. Laurent Ciman will return to the Impact lineup after serving his one match suspension against New England. On the injury front Montreal will be without Andres Romero and most likely Dilly Duka. A reminder that Impact playoff tickets will be going on sale to members on Tuesday and the general public next Saturday.
Game Statistics and Quotes Courtesy of the Montreal Impact:
MTL - GK-Evan Bush; D-Donny Toia, Victor Cabrera, Wandrille Lefevre, Ambroise Oyongo, M- Marco Donadel, Nigel Reo-Coker, Ignacio Piatti (Patrice Bernier 82'), Johan Venegas (Calum Mallace 71'), Dilly Duka (Dominic Oduro 56'); F-Didier Drogba
Subs not used: Kronberg, Camara, Miller, Jackson-Hamel
NE - GK - Bobby Shuttleworth; London Woodberry, Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney; M - Jermaine Jones, Scott Caldwell (Daigo Kobayashi 79'), Kelyn Rowe (Charlie Davies 65'), Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez; F - Juan Agudelo
Subs not used: Knighton, Neumann, Dorman, Alston, Hall
MTL - Piatti 55'
MTL - Venegas 5'
MTL - Donadel 52'