We’ve not seen headlines like these too often recently. A second win in succession, third in the last four, and all of sudden on paper at least, Montreal Impact has given itself hope of post-season participation.
Should victories be secured in the next two games, both at home, hope may even give rise to expectation. The first of those two games, Sporting Kansas are the visitors, will of course be tricky and difficult, but Montreal will expect success at home to lowly Colorado Rapids.
Last Saturday’s game was so flat it needed a boob job, but Remi Garde will not be complaining, nor will fans of the Impact. One wonders what has happened to Orlando City, who’ve now followed six wins on the bounce by seven straight defeats. Their performance against Montreal was among the most insipid I’ve ever seen from a home side. Installation of a new coach, often a fillip to a struggling side, couldn’t even instill passion or energy.
Those in purple frankly looked like they couldn’t be bothered and had someplace else to go.
Although it was late in the game when Montreal finally did seal the points, they were comfortable throughout. Evan Bush will have few easier nights than this one. But so poor was the opposition, caution warns that the corner is probably not yet turned for IMFC.
At times the cohesion was lacking, a feature of this iffy season. Solid and comfortable at the back, ok in midfield, still not great up-front, there were times that the different departments clearly lacked fluidity. But winning breeds confidence and there’s a feeling that stronger resolution is building within the squad, hopefully unlike the false dawn experienced the last time Impact recorded back to back wins.
It’s good the next game provides a significant challenge where focus and sharpness must be maintained. If three difficult points are harvested from that one, Remi Garde will need to work his best psychological prowess to ensure complacency does not become a factor against Colorado, a side that really must be despatched at home.
Player ratings and comment, as I saw it . . . .
Evan Bush – 6/10 – Faultless and a rare break, away from what’s been a very busy season for the Impact custodian. He could’ve brought his pillow for this one.
Chris Duvall – 6/10 – Drafted into the team late, following injury to Jukka Raitala after the original team line-ups had been announced. Wasn’t troubled by direct opponent, Justin Meram and had a steady game.
Rudy Camacho – 7/10 – Handled Dominic Dwyer well in their duel. Dwyer who has enjoyed rich pickings against the Impact in the past, had a quiet and ineffective evening.
Rod Fanni – 7/10 – His usual smooth, authoritative self. Strolled through the game for the most part and seems to be forming an effective partnership with Camacho in the heart of defense.
Daniel Lovitz – 6/10 – Comfortable error-free game for the left sided defender.
Samuel Piette – 7/10 – Another effective performance. Sacha Kljestan often an influential player in our clashes with NYRB, had his effectiveness curbed. Piette is running into a good run of form, and is one Impact player that has improved his game this season.
Alejandro Silva – 7/10 – Perhaps his best game yet and an assist by way of a precise pass for Piatti’s goal which sealed the deal.
Saphir Taider – 7/10 – A fairly rounded performance by the Algerian. Disciplined defensively and found time to push forward in support of attacks. Would be nice to see him convert some of the opportunities that come his way into goals,
Ken Krolicki – 6.5/10 – Contributed to the performance by holding ground and breaking down the opposition’s efforts to develop attacks.
Ignacio Piatti – 6.5/10 - Not quite back to his best, but composed enough to take his best chance when it arrived close to the finish.
Matteo Mancosu – 6/10 – Worked hard, provided the cross which deflected off Sane and into the net for the first goal. Should have put his side two-up before half-time, but fluffed his header in front of goal when well-placed.
Raheem Edwards – 6/10 – Was lively upon entering the fray. Gave the Orlando a different problem than what they had with Mancosu up front.
Victor Cabrera – 6/10 – Solid performance after being introduced as a second-half sub for Chris Duvall who went off injured. Good game to resume playing in as it turned out.
Shamit Shome – Replaced Ken Krolicki for the last 6 mins. Didn’t play long enough for a rating.