MONTREAL, Quebec – A goal by forward Andrew Wenger in the second half lifted the Montreal Impact (5-2-1) to a 1-0 shutout win against the New York Red Bulls (1-5-2) Tuesday afternoon in Reserve League action at the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex. With its 5th win in reserve league play, the Impact is now two points out of first place in the Eastern Division.
Wenger scored the game-winning goal in the 60th minute when he was played in alone down the right side with a long ball from midfielder Josh Gardner. The graduate of Duke University took a low shot, short side, which beat the New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles to his left along the ground.
“I thought it was a good game. We scored a very nice goal on a good finish from Andrew Wenger,” said Impact assistant coach Mike Sorber. “We had a few more chances, but their goalkeeper made some really nice saves. As a group, it was another solid performance.”
“We did some good things early on and moved the ball well,” said Wenger. “However, we missed a little sharpness in the final third for most of the game and could have scored a couple more if it wasn’t for that.”
“It’s always good to finish off a game like this with a clean sheet,” added goalkeeper Evan Bush. “We held strong and did well today. This group has grown since our last tie here against Toronto. We are learning lessons for the rest of the season.”
The game’s first real scoring chance came in the 36th minute when Gardner played a chip cross into the box towards the second post. Midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic slid to get on the end of the ball but his shot was stopped by Robles.
The Impact came close again in the 40th minute when Ubiparipovic took a free-kick from the right flank. He played the ball into the box, where defender Shavar Thomas headed it low toward the far post, but his attempt was stopped by the goalkeeper, diving to his right.
Ubiparipovic was again involved in the 48th minute when his blast from 35 yards out, destined for the top corner, far side, was saved with an acrobatic dive by Robles.
The Impact had back-to-back chances in the 76th minute. First, Ubiparipovic played Wenger a through ball into the box, but his shot hit the post, short side. The rebound came out to Ubiparipovic, who hammered a shot from just outside the box that was stopped by Robles, diving to his left.
Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush was not the busier of the two keepers, but made two key saves to keep the Impact in the game. The first came when Red Bulls midfielder Brandon Barklage curled a free-kick around the wall from about 25 yards out, but the Impact goalkeeper caught the ball as he dove to his right. Then in the 81st minute, Red Bulls midfielder Josh Janneire fired a high shot from a tough angle, just five yards out that was pushed out of bounds by Bush to preserve the clean sheet.
The Impact will play its next game in regular season play at home versus D.C. United on Saturday August 25, at 4pm (ET) at Stade Saputo. Less than 2,000 tickets are still available for this matchup available via the Admission Network. Three-game partial plans at Stade Saputo are now available, starting at $53, by calling 514-328-3668, or via impactmontreal.com. Special family and friend packages, as well as new student rates are also available.
MTL: GK - Evan Bush; D – Hassoun Camara, Nelson Rivas (Maxim Tissot* 61’), Shavar Thomas (Zarek Valentin 45’), Karl W. Ouimette; M - Calum Mallace; M – Evan James (Zakaria Messoudi* 66’), Wandrille Lefevre*, Calum Mallace, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Kevin Luarca-Echeveria* 90+1’), Josh Gardner; F - Andrew Wenger
Substitutes Not Used: GK - Greg Sutton; D – Amine Meftouh*
*Impact U21 player
NYRB: GK – Luis Robles; D – Jon Borrajo, Tyler Ruthven, Stephen Keel, Brandon Barklage; Josh Janneire**, Adam Najem*, Carl Haworth**, Erik Sa* (Ethan Decker**); Jose Angulo, Jhonny Arteaga
Substitutes Not Used: Jeremy Vuolo
** Guest player
MTL – Andrew Wenger (Gardner) 60’
MTL – Lefevre 38’
MTL – Rivas 52’