9 mai portland 3

MONTREAL – Two second half goals sunk the Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon, falling 2-1 to the Portland Timbers, in the team’s first regular season match at Stade Saputo.

“We as players have to take responsibility for our performances,” said Nigel Reo-Coker. “We can’t look to make excuses. We are professional soccer players and we have to be responsible for how we play. We needed to show more positivity, belief and be more aggressive.”

The Timbers opened the scoring in the 64th minute when Nat Borchers headed home a bouncing ball from in close off of a set piece, after an initial shot deflected off the crossbar. 

“The first goal is so important, so it’s difficult to be trailing in games,” explained Evan Bush. “That forces you to defend a lot and try to be perfect in your end, which makes it tough to play. We need to score on our chances and find a lead.”
Midfielder Diego Valeri, making his first start of the year due to injury, pounced on a loose ball just inside the corner of the box and curled it far post for the Timbers’ second marker six minutes later.
The Impact didn’t back off though, immediately attacking the goal a minute later when Eric Alexander hammered a shot that was saved by Timbers’ keeper Adam Kwarasey, but Dominic Oduro tucked in the rebound.
The home side thought they tied things up a few minutes later when Jack McInerney’s header crossed the goal line, but it was called back as the assistant referee saw a foul in the box on the play.
Lethargic first half
The Portland Timbers came as advertised in the first half, without creating a number of chances offensively, but playing solidly on the defensive side of the ball.

“The first half was a little lethargic for both teams and I think it had to with the humidity,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. “We were in control for most of the game other than a few times they managed to stretch us, so it’s frustrating to us to lose points at home.”
Impact did have the best chances of the half. A 20-yard drive by Calum Mallace 10 minutes in missed wide, far side, and a free-kick by Marco Donadel 20 minutes later was curled past the wall, but stopped by the Timbers’ goalkeeper, diving to his left.
More chances in the second
The second half opened up a little bit, with both sides finding better scoring chances. 

Portland was the first to breakthrough, but IMFC goalkeeper Evan Bush was up to the task, making seven saves in what is now a record for a home match, including two just minutes apart. In the 55th minute, a give and go saw Valeri fire a low one that Bush stopped diving to his left. Then, the Impact keeper did the same thing to Rodney Wallace as he found some room in the box down the left flank.

The Impact will play its next game at BMO Field against Toronto FC on Wednesday night, at 7:30pm (TVA Sports, Sportsnet), in the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship semifinals, before returning home to take on Real Salt Lake at 4pm on Saturday at Stade Saputo.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Nigel Reo-Coker, Bakary Soumare, Laurent Ciman, Eric Miller; M-Marco Donadel, Calum Mallace (Eric Alexander 61’),  Dilly Duka (Dominic Oduro 69’), Ignacio Piatti, Andrés Romero; F-Jack McInerney (Kenny Cooper 86’)

Subst not used: GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Wandrille Lefèvre; M-Patrice Bernier, Maxim Tissot

POR – GK-Adam Kwasarey; D-Alvas Powell, Jorge Villafana, Liam Ridgewell, Nat Borchers, M-Darlington Nagbe. Diego Valeri (Dairon Asprilla 72’), Jack Jewsbury, Rodney Wallace (Ishmael Yartey 81’); F-Fanendo Adi (Maximiliano Urruti 86’)
Subs not used: GK-Andrew Weber; D-Jeanderson, Norbero Paparatto; M-George Fochive
POR – Borchers 64’
POR – Valeri (Wallace) 70’
MTL – Oduro 71’
MTL – Romero 78’