MONTREAL, Quebec – The Montreal Impact won its fourth home game in a row on Saturday night, beating the Philadelphia Union 2-0 (halftime 1-0) in front of 18,535 spectators at Stade Saputo.
Impact forward Andrew Wenger scored the opening goal, his fourth of the season, in his first game back as a starter since injuring his thigh back on June 20 versus Chivas USA. Brazilian midfielder Felipe scored the insurance goal, his fourth of the season as well.
The Impact scored the game’s opening goal late in the first half. Midfielder Justin Mapp played a short corner in the 44th minute to midfielder Patrice Bernier near the right corner of the 18 yard box. The Brossard native, who had just been named Canada’s Male Player of the Month by the Canadian Soccer Association for July, played a cross towards the penalty spot, where Wenger’s aerial header sailed into the top corner, far post.
Felipe scored in the 79th minute to put the Impact up by two. Defender Hassoun Camara won the ball back before playing a cross towards the top of the box from the right flank where Felipe jumped to side volley the ball towards goal, beating goalkeeper Zac MacMath low to his left.
WATCH: Postgame vs PHI
“They came in here to sit back and keep the game tight and catch us on the counter,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “They did a good job with Pajoy hitting the post. They are a mirror of us as a team. The goal at the end of the half was big because it meant they had to come out more, but I thought we defended well. It’s always good to get a shutout.”
“It was a tough game for us because at times it was a slower game, we had to manage that correctly,” said forward Andrew Wenger. “We have a fantastic back four that we have a lot of trust in and we knew they could handle it.”
“I didn’t really know if I had a good chance on goal, but it ended up being a nice one,” said midfielder Felipe. “Hassoun Camara put in a nice cross. But the most important thing for me was the three points.”
The Union came close to opening the score in the 21st minute when forward Lionard Pajoy fired a shot from just inside the box that rang off the far post, to the right of Ricketts, who finished the game with three saves to register his second shutout of the season.
Then, a free-kick from Philadelphia’s Michael Farfan from near the sideline found Jack McInerney in the six yard box. His header from point blank range forced Ricketts into a reactionary save, knocking the ball over the bar.
Brazilian midfielder Felipe had a chance in the 60th minute, when he was played through by Wenger, but his low blast was stopped by Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath, diving to his right.
A dangerous tackle by Union forward Antoine Hoppenot on defender Nelson Rivas led to a melee in the 69th minute, in which Rivas and McInerney were shown a red card and ejected from the game.
Defender Matteo Ferrari started as a left back for the first time since joining the Impact in a game that saw all three former Serie A veterans (along with Nelson Rivas and Alessandro Nesta) in the starting lineup; a first this season.
On Sunday, the Impact and the Union will play in Reserve League action, at Stade Saputo, at 11am (ET). Admission is free.
The Impact will hit the road to face the New England Revolution for the second time this season, next Sunday, at 7pm (ET), at Gillette Stadium, in Foxboro, MA.
The club will then return home to take on the Western Conference leading San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, August 18, at 7:30pm (ET) at Stade Saputo.
Individual tickets for games at Stade Saputo are available via the Admission Network. Three-game mini-season packages at Stade Saputo are now available, starting at $53, by calling 514-328-3668, via impactmontreal.com, or visit the Seat Store, located just behind the south grandstands. Special family and friend packages, as well as new student rates are also available.
HIGHLIGHTS: MTL 2, PHI 0
MTL: GK– Donovan Ricketts; D – Hassoun Camara, Alessandro Nesta, Nelson Rivas, Matteo Ferrari; M – Collen Warner, Patrice Bernier, Justin Mapp (Sanna Nyassi 61’), Felipe, Davy Arnaud; F – Andrew Wenger (Jeb Brovsky 70’)
Subs not used: GK – Evan Bush; D – Dennis Iapichino, Shavar Thomas; M – Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Lamar Neagle;
PHI: GK – Zac MacMath; D - Carlos Valdes, Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams, Gabriel Farfan; M - Brian Carroll, Michael Lahoud (Antoine Hoppenot 56’), Michael Farfan; F - Freddy Adu (Gabriel Gomez 80’), Lionard Pajoy (Josue Martinez 73’), Jack McInerney
Subs not used: GK - Chase Harrison; D - Chris Albright, Raymon Gaddis; M - Chandler Hoffman;
MTL – Wenger (Bernier, Mapp) 44’
MTL – Felipe (Camara) 78’
MTL – Ferrari 65’
PHI – Gomes 89’
MTL – Rivas 69’
PHI – McInerney 69’