It is the final match of the season, and Montreal Impact are teetering on the brink of a playoffs spot. They pulled-off a much-needed win last weekend, and now have to do it all over again come Sunday against the New England Revolution.
Two goals from captain Ignacio Piatti in the last 20 minutes of the game against Toronto FC over the weekend ensured that the Impact clinched the three points.
The Impact’s playoff hopes were also kept alive after last-placed Orlando scored a stoppage-time penalty to defeat Columbus 2-1 on Sunday. Columbus (13-11-9) currently sit sixth in the Eastern Conference with 48 points, two points ahead of Montreal (14-15-4). If the Impact are to progress, not only do they need a win this weekend, but they also need Columbus to drop points in their home game against Minnesota United FC (11-19-3).
Upcoming: The Impact vs The Revs
Montreal’s away game will be against 8th place New England Revolution (9-13-11), who have not lost at home since August.
The Impact however are coming off a good run of form, only losing once in their past five games. The Revs on the other hand have lost three of their last five games, including their most recent match.
These two teams have faced each other twice for the season, with New England winning the first encounter 4-0 and Montreal taking the points in the second match with a 4-2 victory.
Weekend Match Recap: Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC
The game kicked off at 3 P.M. Eastern Time in the Saputo Stadium, with Toronto grabbing possession first.
After 36 minutes with few chances, Montreal managed to bury one at the back of the net, but the goal was eventually ruled out by VAR which caught Quincy Amarikwa in an offside position. The teams went in even at the break.
The game opened-up in the second half as both teams attacked more. Sebastian Giovinco was denied by the post in the 51st minute, and Amarikwa missed a sitter just two minutes later.
Piatti was then pulled down in the box coming into the 70th minute, but the referee decided to let the game play amidst boos from the home supporters. A subsequent video-assisted-review managed to convince the referee that the Impact captain was indeed fouled by substitute Eriq Zavaleta, and a penalty was awarded. Piatti coolly slotted it into the left corner to make it 1-0, despite TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono diving the right way.
Piatti almost doubled the lead just five minutes later on the breakaway, but hesitation on his part allowed the Toronto keeper to close down the angle and stop the shot.
A communication error between Bono and defender Chris Mavinga in the dying minutes of the match provided Piatti with a shot at an empty net. This time he converted it with a simple pass into the goal, bringing the score to 2-0 with his 16th goal of the season.