MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact unseeded the best team in Major League Soccer, scoring a goal in each half, defeating FC Dallas 2-1 at Stade Saputo Saturday night. Ignacio Piatti scored on a PK in the first half, while Jack McInerney drilled one from distance in the second.
IMFC played a strong defensive game, stifling the league’s top offensive team for most of the game on its way to winning two consecutive matches.
“We sat back a little bit too deep at the end of the game,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. “But the goals we scored were fantastic combination plays and the way we moved the ball was really good. Getting the win was very important. You could see some of the ideas we were working on every time we had a good combination play.”
For a second game in a row, the Montreal Impact scored the game’s first goal when Ignacio Piatti converted on a penalty kick in the 25th minute for his second of the season. The referee pointed to the spot after fellow Argentine Andres Romero beat his man while chasing down a through ball into the box, before being fouled from behind.
In the 50th minute, Piatti crafted IMFC’s second goal when he teed up a give and go at the half-circle for Jack McInerney, who hammered a low blast past Dallas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
“We got a little win streak going against good teams and that’s good for our confidence, “said McInerney, who scored his second of the season. “We have to play a similar style in Chicago next week and in all our road games because we need to win on the road to be good in this league.”
FC Dallas came within one in the 77th minute off of a corner kick when defender Matt Hedges jumped on a rebound following goalkeeper Evan Bush’s initial save, but the Impact shut the door the rest of the way, despite some nervous moments.
Bush had a strong game, shining as he made a number of key saves including one in the 11th minute, when speedy winger Fabian Castillo darted down the left flank, cutting his shot far side. The Impact keeper had to come up big again just before the halftime whistle when Castillo found some space in tight, short side. And then again, with just a few minutes remaining, Bush parried a Blas Perez header going opposite post.
“A lot of positive things are going on here,” said Bush. “Finally, with all the Champions League stuff behind us, we are proving who we are and tonight’s performance is a better reflection of that.”
Seven minutes in, Piatti toe poked the ball past two defenders, catching Kennedy backing up, but his left-footed shot goes wide far side.
After that, there were some shaky moments in the box following three straight corner kicks for Dallas, but the home side defended well on each occasion.
Jack Mac and the Argentine duo came close to connecting again in the 56th minute when a quick passing play sprung Nacho in on goal, but his shot sailed over the bar. Twenty minutes later, it was McInerney on the end of a Piatti ball behind the defence, but his shot missed far post.
In stoppage time, a mad scramble in the crease ensued with FC Dallas finding loose ball after loose ball, but an IMFC defender managed to block each attempt, including one right off the goal line.
The Impact will play its next game in Chicago against the Fire on Saturday, May 30, at 8:30pm EDT (TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5FM), before returning to Stade Saputo for a Canadian clash with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday, June 3, at 8pm (tickets: ticketmaster.ca).
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Eric Miller (Donny Toia 36’), Laurent Ciman, Bakary Soumare, Ambroise Oyongo; M-Marco Donadel (Eric Alexander 68’), Calum Mallace, Dilly Duka, Ignacio Piatti, Andrés Romero (Patrice Bernier 83’); F-Jack McInerney
Subs not used: GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Wandrille Lefèvre, M-Maxim Tissot; F-Anthony Jackson-Hamel
FCD – GK-Dan Kennedy; D-Je-Vaughn Watson, Matt Hedges, Moises Hernandez (Atiba Harris 80’), Walker Zimmerman; M-Fabian Castillo, Mauro Diaz, Michel (Tesho Akindele 53’), Ryan Hollingshead (Kyle Bekker 73’); F-Victor Ulloa, Blas Perez
Subs not used: G-Chris Seitz; D-Zach Loyd; M-Alejandro Zendejas; F-Michael Barrios
MTL – Piatti (PEN) 25’
MTL – McInerney (Piatti) 50’
FCD – Hedges (77’)
MTL – Soumare 26’
MTL – Donadel 29’
MTL – Romero 58’
FCD – Hedges 75’
MTL – Mallace 87’
MTL – McInerney 90+3’