PUERTO RICO 0 IMPACT 0
Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush registered his second consecutive regular season shutout at home, after making seven saves.
Bush made a key save at the 55th minute when he dove to stop a point blank shot from striker Jonathan Fana, who is currently second in the NASL with seven goals. Bush made another important save at the 86th minute on a strike from forward David Foley.
“I’m playing with a lot of confidence right now,” said Bush. “It’s tough not getting the win but earning the clean sheet is satisfying. It’s part of the goalkeeper and defensive jobs. We’ll continue working hard and goals will come. I still think Puerto Rico came out lucky at the end.”
In stoppage time, striker Eduardo Sebrango had the game-winning goal on his toe, heading a ball before going on a breakaway towards the Islanders goalkeeper Ray Burse. A defender then made contact with him in the 18-yard box and the goalkeeper made the save. Sebrango was making a comeback after signing with the club earlier today. He came on the field at the 78th minute, replacing midfielder Leonardo Di Lorenzo.
“I’ve been training for many weeks now, and I never really moved on. I’m glad to have this opportunity and to be back with the team,” said Sebrango. “I will continue to do my best to help the team grow.”
It was also a return to the pitch for head coach Nick De Santis, named by interim after Marc Dos Santos resignation.
“It was a very intense game and I am satisfied with our performance,” explained De Santis. “We reacted well to the pressure displayed by Puerto Rico and we created ourselves some scoring opportunities. We wanted to win so hard that we were impatient on some plays. We must remain positive, because we will continue to progress.”
The Impact nearly opened the scoring at the 21st minute following a corner from midfielder Leonardo Di Lorenzo. On the play, the ball deflected on the back of defender Amir Lowery, then Burse dove to make the save.
The Impact had two successive chances in the second half. At the 65th minute, an Islanders defender deflected with a header a low shot from Di Lorenzo that went above the net. A few seconds later, defender Hassoun Camara headed a corner from Philippe Billy a few inches to the right of the Puerto Rican goal.
It was the second of four matchups between both teams in 2011. The Islanders had won the first game 2-1, on June 12, at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, in Bayamon.
Goalkeeper Bill Gaudette and Maxime Crépeau, defenders Nevio Pizzolitto and Richard Pelletier, as well as forwards Reda Agourram and Pierre-Rudolph Mayard all missed the game due to injuries.
The team will visit the Carolina RailHawks on Sunday, July 3 (carolinarailhawks.com), before playing its next home game at Saputo Stadium against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, on July 13, at 7:30pm (Radio-Canada, CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990, radio-canada.ca/sports). Tickets for this game are still available through Admission Network (admission.com / 514-790-1245) or at Saputo Stadium’s ticketing office.
THREE NEXT GAMES
• Saturday, July 3 – IMPACT @ Carolina RailHawks – WakeMed Soccer Park – 7pm (carolinarailhawks.com)
• Wednesday, July 13 – Fort Lauderdale Strikers @ IMPACT – Saputo Stadium – 7:30pm (CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990, radio-canada.ca/sports)
• Saturday, July 17 – Atlanta Silverbacks @ IMPACT – Saputo Stadium – 3:30pm (CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990, radio-canada.ca/sports)