MONTREAL – In its second home game of the season, the Montreal Impact (1-4-1) won its first ever game in Major League Soccer on Saturday, beating its Canadian rivals Toronto FC by a 2-1 score in front of 23,120 supporters at Olympic Stadium. Sinisa Ubiparipovic and Andrew Wenger scored for the Impact in this historic win.
In his first game of the season, midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic opened the scoring in the 18th minute. Following a turnover created by midfielder Lamar Neagle, Ubiparipovic beat TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic to his left from about 25 yards out.
Forward Andrew Wenger, the first overall selection of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, doubled the Impact’s lead in the 81st minute. Midfielder Justin Mapp, who came in for Ubiparipovic in the 73rd minute, played a deep ball to Wenger who outmuscled TFC defender Ty Harden before beating Kocic, as he was screened by his own defender.
Toronto FC got one back in the 88th minute. Running towards the penalty spot, forward Danny Koevermans headed the ball passed goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts left side, after a cross from Reggie Lambe.
“This is an important win for the club, the city and the players,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “However, the work must continue. We are please and satisfied with this moment, but the players are all well-grounded and they understand that this is a process.”
“I am very happy to have scored my first goal, to get the monkey off my back, but it’s even more satisfying to get the win,” said Wenger. “I am happy that I was able to help my team win. After some difficult moments, we have finally played a full game and got the win.”
The Impact played the last 25 minutes against an undermanned TFC following a red card ejection to defender Logan Emory, who was called for a last man foul on a charging forward Sanna Nyassi just outside the box. Five yellow cards were also handed out during the game.
In the 67th minute, Tyson Wahl, who was playing the left flank, blocked a shot by Koevermans right off the goal line, and then less than five minutes later, defender Shavar Thomas did the same with a slide.
“We played a solid game and we finally got a positive result,” said Thomas, who made his second consecutive start. “We believe in what we are doing here and doing what needs to be done to win. Let’s hope this starts a winning streak for us.”
Donovan Ricketts won his first game with the Impact. He made a pair of key saves, including one in the 36th minute right near the goal line, off of a point blank header by Koevermans.
The Impact held the advantage over its rivals from Ontario in shots 16-13 and possession 59-41%.
Midfielder Lamar Neagle, who started his second straight game, finished the game with five shots.
“We had discussions about using different players this week as we had many games in a short period of time,” added Marsch. “We have a good roster and I think all of the players who have come in recently have played well.”
Following the home game, the Impact will play its next two games on the road, first on April 14 versus FC Dallas, at 8:30pm ET, and then on Wednesday, April 18 against D.C. United at 7:30pm ET. Both games will be broadcast live on TVA Sports.
The Impact’s next home game is on Saturday, April 28, at 2pm, against the Portland Timbers at the Olympic Stadium. Season tickets are still available online at impactmontreal.com or by calling 514-328-3668 while individual for all games presented at the Olympic Stadium are also available through the Admission network.
MTL – GK-Donovan Ricketts, D-Zarek Valentin, D-Shavar Thomas, D-Matteo Ferrari, D-Tyson Wahl, M-Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Justin Mapp 73’), M-Collen Warner, M-Felipe, M-Lamar Neagle, F-Sanna Nyassi (Davy Arnaud 82’), F-Bernardo Corradi (Andrew Wenger 66’).
TOR – GK- Milos Kocic, D- Ashtone Morgan, D-Richard Eckersley (Doneil Henry 52’), D-Ty Harden, D- Logan Emory, M-Julian De Guzman, M-Terry Dunfield, M-Ryan Johnson, M-Nick Soolsma (Reggie Lambe 73’), F-Joao Plata (Luis Silva 52’), F-Danny Koevermans
MTL – Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Lamar Neagle) 18’
MTL – Andrew Wenger (Justin Mapp) 81’
TOR – Danny Koevermans (Reggie Lambe) 88’
MTL – Bernardo Corradi 26’
TOR – Richard Eckersley 29’
TOR - Ty Harden 47’
TOR - Julian De Guzman 59’
MTL – Sanny Nyassi 82’
TOR – Logan Emory 65’