CHESTER, Pennsylvania – The Montreal Impact played to a 0-0 draw with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night, at PPL Park in Chester Pennsylvania. Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins recorded his 8th shutout of the season, ending the match with four key saves.
With a point on the road, the Impact is still first in the Eastern Conference standings with 42 points from 25 games.
"I am happy that the team earned a point while shutting out Philadelphia," said Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello. "We showed that we can play well defensively on the road. All of our next road games will be hard fought and we will need to stay focused during 90 minutes. We are happy to return to Montreal with the point."
"The last five games on the road were really hectic for us and tonight we didn’t give up many chances," added goalkeeper Troy Perkins. "We were solid defensively and this is a great building block to move forward."
"We displayed a lot of maturity tonight and we were sound defensively," said defender Hassoun Camara. "We created a few counterattacks but could not finish them. This is a good point against a good team. It’s a positive for the last stretch of the season."
The Union enjoyed much of the possession early in the first half, but the Impact managed to close the door as the home side couldn’t penetrate the final third. Then, things evened out over the 45 minutes, with some chances on both ends.
Philadelphia’s first opportunity came in the 20th minute when winger Sebastien Le Toux cut inside with one touch to find a hole and fired a powerful shot from 20 yards out that was scooped up by Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
In the 24th minute, a Justin Mapp shot square to goal was bobbled by Union keeper Zac MacMath. Marco Di Vaio got on the end of the rebound and chipped the keeper, but his wide attempt was called back on an offside.
The Union found another glorious chance in the 42nd minute when midfielder Danny Cruz ran onto the ball deep down the right flank before crossing it to the top of the box. Le Toux's one-timer from point blank range was acrobatically stopped by Perkins with his feet as he dove to his right, preserving the 0-0 score line at half-time.
Perkins made another key save in the 57th minute when forward Jack McInerney blasted one from the top of the half-circle. The rebound fell to Le Toux who had an open net as Perkins was down, but Impact defender Hassoun Camara slid to block the shot.
In the 90th minute, Di Vaio found space just outside the right corner of the box, but his low shot grazed the outside of the far post.
Assistant coach Mauro Biello managed the team as Marco Schällibaum’s was serving his final match of a two-game suspension.
The Impact will travel to New England to take on the Revolution at Gillette Stadium next Sunday, August 8, at 7:30pm (ET).
MTL – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Jeb Brovsky, Alessandro Nesta, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara; M-Hernan Bernardello(Collen Warner 85’), Patrice Bernier, Andrés Romero (Sanna Nyassi 56’), Felipe (Davy Arnaud 78’), Justin Mapp, F-Marco Di Vaio
Subs not used: G-Evan Bush; D-Adrian Lopez; M-Andrea Pisanu; F-Daniele Paponi
PHI – GK-Zach MacMath; D-Fabinho, Jeff Parke, SheanonWilliams, Raymon Gaddis; M-Brian Carroll; Sébastien Le Toux,Keon Daniel, Daniel Cruz (Antoine Hoppenot 74’); F-JackMcInerney (Kleberson 80’), Conor Casey (Aaron Wheeler 86’)
Subs not used: GK-Oka Nikolov; M-Michael Lahoud, Leo Fernandez, Michael Farfan