MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact exploded for four goals on Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo, topping Real Salt Lake 4-1 in its first MLS victory of the season. Andrés Romero scored a brace in the first half, while Laurent Ciman and Dilly Duka scored their firsts of the season.
“We really wanted the win today and we came out with a complete performance,” said Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello, who was running the bench in place of the suspended Frank Klopas. “There were a few nervous moments at the beginning of the second half, but we needed to suffer a little and get through it. That was very positive for us.”
A sluggish start to the game for both teams was negated by two quick goals for the home side, with the first coming off of a set piece in the 18th minute. Midfielder Marco Donadel’s corner found Laurent Ciman back post, who charged into the box and leapt forward to direct it past the keeper.
“Everyone showed their potential and they played within themselves,” explained Ciman. “We moved the ball around well and played quickly with one or two touches, so possession was good and we showed our quality.”
Two minutes after the Belgian’s first career MLS goal, Designated Player Nacho Piatti created a second with a chip over his defender down the right flank with the outside of his foot, right onto the path of Romero. The Argentine saw goalkeeper Nick Rimando coming off of his line and lobbed the U.S. international with a quick touch.
Romero found his second of the game in the 29th minute after some hard work by forward Dominic Oduro to chase down a long ball. Playing it back to Calum Mallace, Oduro’s one-timer from the Scot’s in-swinging cross bounced off the post and out to Romero for the tap in - his first ever multi-goal game in MLS.
The Ghanaian forward then earned a penalty after he was taken down in the box late in the first half, but Piatti’s attempt rang off the post.
RSL scored a quick goal to start the second when forward Devon Sandoval found a loose ball near the corner of the box and skillfully lobbed it far post in the 47th minute.
“The first 10 minutes of the second half were tough,” said defender Bakary Soumare. “We needed to be a little better focused after halftime, but we played through that. We want to have a great season, so we need to win games. It’s the first time I feel that we held on to the ball well and had a lot of scoring chances in league play, which was good for the morale.”
Midfielder Dilly Duka then scored an insurance goal in the 78th minute. Jack McInerney, after played through by Eric Alexander, swung a cross in behind the RSL back line that was slightly deflected by Rimando before Duka slid to beat the keeper for his first of the season.
Goalkeeper Evan Bush finished the game with five saves, stopping a curling shot from a Beckerman free kick in the 50th minute.
The Impact will play its next game on Saturday, May 23, at 8pm, against FC Dallas (Tickets: ticketmaster.ca).
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Eric Miller, Laurent Ciman, Bakary Soumare, Nigel Reo-Coker; M-Marco Donadel (Patrice Bernier 76’), Calum Mallace, Dilly Duka, Ignacio Piatti, Andrés Romero (Eric Alexander 67’); F-Dominic Oduro (Jack McInerney 63’)
Subs not used: GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Wandrille Lefèvre; M-Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé; F-Romario Williams
RSL – GK-Nick Rimando; D-Demar Phillips, Elias Vasquez, Jamison Olave, Tony Beltran; M-Kyle Beckerman (John Stertzer 85’), Jordan Allen, Luis Gil, Luke Mulholland (Sebastian Saucedo 61’); F-Devon Sandoval (Olmes Garcia 75’), Alvaro Saborio
Subs not used: GK-Jeff Attinella; D-Aaron Maund; M-Kenny Mansally, Pecka
MTL – Ciman (Donadel) 18’
MTL – Romero (Piatti) 20’
MTL – Romero 29’
RSL – Sandoval (Gil, Mulholland) 47’
MTL – Duka 78’
MTL – Donadel 8’
RSL – Allen 38’
RSL – Vasquez 43’
RSL – Beltran 58’
MTL – Miller 76’