MONTREAL, Quebec – A goal by defender Matteo Ferrari in stoppage time of the second half led the Montreal Impact to a 3-2 win over Real Salt Lake at Stade Saputo on Saturday. Felipe and Marco Di Vaio, with his sixth goal of the season, scored the others. With the win, the Impact remains undefeated at home this season (4-0-1) and is back in first place in the Eastern Conference standings with 20 points.
Real Salt Lake got an early goal in the 7th minute when a long distance shot by defender Lovel Palmer deflected off of Impact centre back Matteo Ferrari and floated over goalkeeper Troy Perkins for an own goal – the first time that’s ever happened to the Impact in MLS.
The Impact tied it up in the 38th minute. Defender Jeb Brovsky played a through ball deep down the right flank to Justin Mapp, near the goal line. The Impact midfielder then sent a low cross towards the penalty spot, where Felipe slid to beat his defender and put the ball towards the far post to score his second of the season.
A 77th minute corner kick by RSL ended up in the back of the net when a bouncing ball in the penalty area found captain Kyle Beckerman 12 yards out from the second post. He took one touch and fired a low shot with his left foot that just found the inside of the post.
The Impact found a second equalizer three minutes later when a give and go between Maxim Tissot and Andrew Wenger resulted in the forward playing a through ball to strike partner Marco Di Vaio, who sent Rimando going the wrong way, and put his shot off the post and in. The Impact DP has scored in five consecutive home games, while Academy product Maxim Tissot earned his first career point in MLS with the assist.
The Impact scored a late winner when a corner kick by rookie Blake Smith, earning his first career assist as a pro, found Matteo Ferrari, who one-timed it to Rimando’s left to score his first career goal in MLS as he fell to the ground.
Troy Perkins had another solid game for the Impact, making a couple of key saves for his team. RSL’s Sebastien Velasquez played a ball into the box that found Olmes Garcia near the penalty spot in the 18th minute, but his point blank shot was saved by Perkins. Then in the 47th minute, Perkins was forced to jump and push the ball over the bar as a chip attempt by Ned Grabavoy came floating towards goal. Then in the 85th minute, he stopped midfielder Joao Plata on a half breakaway, coming out of his goal to challenger the RSL player and keep the score tied to set up the late winner.
Second half substitute Sanna Nyassi played in his 100th career MLS game.
“Today we played against a very good team,” said head coach Marco Schällibaum. “Despite a difficult schedule over the last few weeks, we showed a desire to win. We have shown that we can play with quality, but we also have shown that we can play with character. We had a bit of luck to score in the last minute, but we earned it as we didn’t give up until the end. I love how this team has developed the desire to win games and play with character.”
“We played two good games on the road, but were a little unfortunate to lose some points, so it was really important to win this game,” said Marco Di Vaio. “It was a big win for us. We won a tough game against a good team and it was a character win. Sometimes you play a difficult match and need those character wins.”
“The three points keep us near the top of the standings, so it was extremely important for us,” said Matteo Ferrari. “It was a tough game for us, with some players like Jeb and Hassoun who played something like six games in just a few weeks. They are my heroes. We are a little tired, but we’ll be ready for our cup game Wednesday.”
In the 31st minute, Wenger played a low cross into the box that skipped past Felipe at the short post and found Di Vaio near the far one, but the Impact’s DP put his one timer over the bar.
RSL’s captain Beckerman tried one from just outside the box in the 48th minute, but his left-footed drive missed just inches to the left of Perkins.
Impact forward Andrew Wenger chased a ball down the touchline in the 50th minute before using a cutback to beat his defender into the box, but his left-footed shot was scooped up by Rimando.
The Impact’s next matchup is the first leg of the aggregate goal home and away final series of the Amway Canadian Championship against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, at Stade Saputo this Wednesday at 7:30pm ET. The second leg is set for May 29 at BC Place.
The team’s next regular season game will take place at Stade Saputo on May 25, 7pm ET, against the Philadelphia Union.
MTL – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara, Maxim Tissot; M- Patrice Bernier, Felipe (Collen Warner 88’), Andrés Romero (Blake Smith 73’), Justin Mapp (Sanna Nyassi 86’); F-Andrew Wenger, Marco Di Vaio
Unused subs: GK-Evan Bush; D-Dennis Iapichino; M-Wandrille Lefèvre, Sinisa Ubiparipovic
RSL – GK-Nick Rimando; D-Lovel Palmer, Chris Schuler, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Chris Wingert; M-Ned Grabavoy, Javier Morales, Kyle Beckerman, Sebastian Velasquez (Khari Stephenson 69’); F-Devon Sandoval (Joao Plata 85’), Olmes Garcia
Unused subs: GK-Josh Saunders; D-Tony Beltran, Carlos Salcedo; M-Luis Gil, John Stertzer
RSL – Matteo Ferrari (Own goal) 7’
MTL – Felipe (Mapp, Brovsky) 39’
RSL – Beckerman 77’
MTL – Di Vaio (Wenger, Tissot) 80'
MTL – Ferrari (Smith) 93’
MTL – Camara 29’
RSL – Grabavoy 40’
MTL – Tissot 89’
RSL – Rimando 91’
MTL – Nyassi 91’
MTL – Ferrari 93’