L’Impact de Montreal took the 3rd and final game in its series against the Philadelphia Union with a 3-0 scoreline. It was in truth a closer game than the score suggests. Montreal opened the scoring in the 69th minute, and got two more in the last minute. Philadelphia’s fortunes were made in the span of about a minute, when a Giliano Wijnaldum shot hit the post. Montreal countered, in the span of two passes, a clearance to Daniel Lovitz, a great run and cross from the wingback and the shot from Blerim Dzemaili.
With a 2-1-0 record against Philadelphia this year the Canadian side has made an impact on the Eastern Conference playoff race. With the 6th and final spot up in the air as the season winds down, Montreal made a case to be that last team. With 3 games in hand against Columbus, and 5 points adrift, it appears increasingly likely that Montreal could make another playoff push. Meanwhile it spells disaster for the Union, who have a difficult final stretch, including 6 away games from the last 10 matches. With only 1 win so far on the road it will take a big turn around for Philadelphia to make a case for the last spot. Here is a look back at the 3-0
First chance of the game went to Montreal. Ignacio Piatti found a great run by Daniel Lovitz on the left wing. Lovitz carried it forward and cut back a cross for Piatti atop the box. Piatti scuffed his shot, sending it well wide.
The Union almost notched an early goal in the 5th minute after a lapse from Montreal at the back. Ciman misplayed a pass to him, slipping in the process. Sapong picked it up and ran at goal. Bush came out to make a great save to keep the match scoreless.
McCarthy went down well for his first save of the game to deny Piatti. A flicked header by Matteo Mancosu found Piatti’s run. The Argentine’s slaloming run created enough space for a shot form 20 yards out. It was close enough to McCarthy that the stand-in keeper had no problem parrying the ball away.
A subdued 45 minutes resulted in a scoreless, and perhaps dull first half. Neither team created much aside from balls in the box and the odd counterattack. Montreal perhaps looked more dangerous on the counter, while the Union were a bigger threat from set pieces and balls in the box.
Bush came out to make another save in the 55th minute from a Fafa Picault shot. The winger latched onto a ball over the top and ran inside his man along the byline. Bush came out and used his body to stop the shot from the corner of the six.
The ensuing corner kick resulted in another chance for Philadelphia. Piette, perhaps stopping a goal from 6 yards out, blocked the initial header. A scrum in the middle saw the ball ping-pong around, deflecting off of both teams before ricocheting out of the box.
A great hold from John McCarthy kept things level in the 63rd minute. The break was on for Montreal, and Piatti found a great diagonal ball to beat Yaro at the back. Mancosu, too wide for a good shot, tried a shot anyway with the hopes McCarthy might spill a rebound into the path of Dominic Oduro. But the powerful effort was held cleanly, preventing any chance at a follow-up.
The post denied the Union of a well-worked attack in the 66th minute. Ilsinho combined with Haris Medunjanin to get around the left side of the Impact defense. Medunjanin had the presence to take a touch and pick out a pass instead of smashing it across the net. He picked out Giliano Wijnaldum at the PK spot on the defenders favored left foot. The left-back swung his foot first-time to smash the ball at net. Bush had no chance and was let off the hook by the post.
Montreal took the lead in the 69th minute. The attack once again came from Lovitz down the left wing. The left-back curled a great cross in the middle and Dzemaili made no mistake, smashing a shot past McCarthy, who had no chance given the pace of the shot.
Montreal doubled the lead after a penalty in the 90th minute. A quick counter led to a foot-race between Piatti and Gaddis. Piatti slid in and touched the ball across the 18 for an unmarked Blerim Dzemaili. McCarthy rushed out to close the Impact midfielder. Dzemaili tried to protect the ball and cut it back, and McCarthy stuck his leg out to poke the ball away, instead clipping the Impact players legs. Referee Mark Geiger made no hesitation to give a penalty.
Dzemaili made it three with a great curling effort from the edge of the box as the game wrapped up. Piatti noticed that once again Dzemaili was wide open near the top of the box, and the duo linked up yet again. Dzemaili placed a perfect shot, curling around McCarthy in net.
Montreal won the third and final meeting between the teams with a 3-0 score-line. The game was much closer than the score suggests, with Philadelphia striking post and looking a nuisance in the Impact box. But a 69th minute goal allowed Montreal to close up shop and hit back at the exposed Union late in the game.
John McCarthy (23)
Ray Gaddis (28), Josh Yaro (15), Jack Elliott (3), Giliano Wijnaldum (32)
Haris Medunjanin (6), Alejandro Bedoya (11)
Chris Pontius (13), Ilsinho (25), Fafa Picault (22)
CJ Sapong (17)
Ignacio Piatti (10), Matteo Mancosu (21), Dominic Oduro (7)
Blerim Dzemaili (31), Samuel Piette (29), Patrice Bernier (8)
Daniel Lovitz (3), Laurent Ciman (23), Victor Cabrera (36), Chris Duvall (18)
Evan Bush (1)
Yellow MON: Duvall 48’
Sub MON: Michael Salazar for Oduro 67’
Sub PHL: Marcus Epps for Pontius 67’
Goal MON: Dzemaili 69’ (assist Lovitz)
Sub PHL: Roland Alberg for Ilsinho 75’
Sub MON: Louis Beland-Goyette for Patrice Bernier 80’
Yellow MON: Piette 84’
Sub PHL: Jay Simpson for Elliott 85’
Sub MON: Kyle Fisher for Mancosu 87’
Goal MON: Piatti 90’ (Pen)
Goal MON: Dzemaili 90’ (assist Piatti)