After falling to Sporting KC last weekend on the road, the Impact returned to the win column on Saturday night against the Seattle Sounders. Montreal left it late but a goal from Laurent Ciman in the 88th-minute gave the Impact all three points. This was the first and only meeting between the two teams this season and the victory vaulted Montreal back into the playoff picture and into sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Good win, always solid at home. Keep climbing in standings. #IMFC— Patrice Bernier (@pbernier10) July 26, 2015
The Impact have been very good this season at home, and the trend continued against the Sounders. The Impact dominated position in the first half (and throughout the match). Head Coach Frank Klopas has finally found a back four he is comfortable with and the group is starting to grow together. Although Montreal had the lions share of possession in the first half, chances were few and far between. Perhaps the best chance of the first half for the Impact came from Dominic Oduro in the 21st-minute after Ignacio Piatti sent him in alone on former Impact keeper Troy Perkins. However Perkins was up to the test and denied Oduro keeping the score level going into the half.
Patience Pays Off:
"In the end if we didn't get the three points tonight, it would've been difficult to accept" - Frank Klopas
The Sounders were able to grab back some of the possession at the start of the second half. Seattle's best opportunity of the match came in the 56th-minute as another former Impact player Lamar Neagle pushed a header just wide of Evan Bush's net. After this brief scare the Impact pushed back and regained control of the match. However much like the first half they were not able to generate many quality scoring chances. Klopas hungry for the three points brought Jack McInerney into the mix in the 71st-minute pairing him up front with Dominic Oduro. Montreal fired another warning in the 81st-minute as Piatti tried to chip Perkins however was denied by the crossbar.
Ciman to the Rescue:
“I’ve worked hard since coming here and I want to keep contributing. I feel the support of the fans and I appreciate them having my back." - Laurent Ciman
As the match inched towards the 90th-minute it appeared as though the teams would share the spoils and go home with one point each. However in the 88th-minute Ciman burst forward and was able to draw a foul in a dangerous area. Marco Donadel whipped in a perfect cross which was met by the head of Ciman to propel the Impact to the three points. Although Ciman scored the decisive goal he also played a phenomenal match defensively as well.
The Impact travel to Yankee Stadium next Saturday to take on New York City FC. David Villa and NYCFC have had their way with the Impact this season and shutting down Villa will be imperative to Montreal getting anything from the match. With the transfer window coming to an end on August 8th, there is the possibility there could be some new faces in the squad by the time next weekend rolls around (Didier Drogba anyone?)
Game Statistics and Quotes Courtesy of the Montreal Impact:
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Ambroise Oyongo, Laurent Ciman, Victor Cabrera, Donny Toia; M-Calum Mallace (Patrice Bernier 88’), Marco Donadel, Dilly Duka (Jack McInerney 71’), Ignacio Piatti, Andrés Romero (Maxim Tissot 78’); F-Dominic Oduro
Subs not used: GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Wandrille Lefèvre; M-Nigel Reo-Coker; F-Anthony Jackson-Hamel
SEA – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Tyrone Mears, Chad Marschall, Zach Scott, Leonardo Gonzalez (Dylan Remick 73’); M-Andy Rose, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg (Gonzalo Pineda 78’); F-Cristian Roldan, Lamar Neagle, Chad Barrett (Darwin Jones 68’)
Subs not used: GK-Charlie Lyon; D-Jimmy Ockford; M-Thomas, Michael Zira
MTL – Ciman (Donadel) 88’
SEA – Pineda 84’
MTL – Donadel 90’
MTL – McInerney 90+3