The Montréal Impact earned their first win of the 2017 MLS season while handing Atlanta United FC their first ever MLS away loss.
The Impact and Atlanta both started this Eastern Conference matchup playing their counter-attacking styles, which made for multiple chances at either end throughout the first half.
In the 40th minute, a bad ball out of the back by Evan Bush allowed for Atlanta’s first ever player Hector Villalba to pick his head up and play in Kenwyne Jones for an easy first MLS goal for the Trinidad & Tobago native.
Right before the halftime whistle, Bernier won a foot race in the middle of the park and put in a beautiful curling ball in behind Atlanta’s Gonzalez Pirez in the process. Pirez had no other option but to take down the speedy Mancosu. A controversial red card was handed out to him, but to be fair he did break up an obvious scoring opportunity. Piatti tucked in the penalty to Alec Kann’s left-hand side for his second goal of the campaign.
The second half did not have the same back-and-forth flow that the first half did, thanks to the red card handed out before halftime. Atlanta sat back the rest of the time, with the occasional counter possibly on the cards, but they seemed content with leaving Stade Saputo with a point.
Come the 92nd minute, Atlanta were frustrating the Impact who were unable to break down the fort that is Atlanta’s defending as a unit. An unlikely hero in Anthony Jackson-Hamel redirected Bernardello’s drilled shot from outside the box cleverly to the bottom left-hand corner. Jeff Larentowitz was the only Atlanta player keeping him onside.
Montréal will hope to get some momentum going, as they head right back out on the road next week where they face the Union on April 22nd.