Finally, after 6 very long weeks without a win, our Montreal Impact were finally able to grab all 3 points. A sellout crowd of 20 801 at Saputo Stadium witnessed the Impact's dramatic 3-2 win over the star studded LA Galaxy.
After being manhandled in the first 25 minutes of the match, the Impact found their legs after Piatti's goal and were able to mount a come from behind victory. The Galaxy took the lead off of a clumsy mistake by the Impact's defence. If the Galaxy got lucky in the opening minutes, it was the Impact's turn to get lucky in the final minutes. The final goal of the match came from Drogba's boot and sent Saputo Stadium into a frenzy deep into stoppage time. Here are my thumbs up and thumbs down for the Impact's performance versus the LA Galaxy.
Lucas Ontivero: The young Argentinian has had a few impressive performances since arriving during the offseason, but his best match with the Impact so far came on Saturday versus the likes of Nigel de Jong, Ashley Cole and Jelle Van Damme. Ontivero handed the Impact their 1st lead of the match in the 55th minute. À la Piatti, Ontivero quickly cut left then right in a thick mass of defenders before firing the ball with his "weaker" right foot into the top shelf of LA's net. The young man's reaction said it all. Ontivero celebrated his 1st goal with the bleu-blanc noir by running into the sub's arms with a smile that proves that he truly loves the beautiful game. Ontivero was also charged with the delivery of a few corners on Saturday. Every single one of his corners made it to an Impact player. Performance Rating: 9/10
Patrice Bernier: After subbing in for the injured Marco Donadel in the 37th minute, the Canadian captain had a solid performance. The only down side was his play on LA's 2nd goal. On that sequence, the 36 year old Brossard native was outmuscled by Sebastian Lletget and that eventually led to the Galaxy's equalizing goal. Other than that, Bernier was solid. He assured a smooth flow between the Impact's back 4 and attacking 4 with precise passes from his holding midfield position. On the defensive end of the ball, Bernier helped out with 2 successful tackles (64th and 76th minutes), 3 interceptions, 2 clearances, both from inside our own box, and 5 recoveries including 2 in our penalty area. Performance Rating: 7.5/10
First 25 minutes: The Impact definitely seemed star struck by the Galaxy's roster and appeared to be more pre-occupied about getting Gio's and Gerrard's autograph than playing soccer in the first 25 minutes. For the opening minutes of the match, the Galaxy seemed to be playing a giant game of monkey in the middle with Montreal. The Impact players were running around chasing LA's passes always a step behind, unable to anticipate LA's next move. During the first 25 minutes, the Galaxy attempted 5 shots and 1 found its way into Bush's net. The Impact managed only 1 shot during those 25 minutes. The Galaxy dominated in terms of possession with many more passes than the Impact. Luckily, the Impact were able to emerge from their dazed state to finally secure all 3 points. Team Performance Rating: 4.5/10
It's a win. Three points, no questions asked. Even though Drogba's late free kick should have been saved, it is still very important to remember that the Impact are only the 2nd team to beat the high flying Galaxy this season. Without Johan Venegas, Laurent Ciman, Donny Toia, Ambroise Oyongo, Victor Cabrera and Andres Romero the Impact were able to snap their wineless streak versus a very talented LA Galaxy squad. Let's hope this success (and luck) will carry on to the Impact's mid-week game versus Toronto Fc. On Wednesday, the Impact travel to Toronto for the 1st leg of the Voyageurs Cup semi-final.
Question of the Week:
Do you want Mauro Biello to start his strongest starting 11 in the 1st leg of the Voyageurs Cup versus TFC?