The Montreal Impact extended its winning streak at home to four games on Saturday night, shutting out Orlando City SC 2-0 at Stade Saputo, thanks to goals by Donny Toia and Dominic Oduro, and great defensive team play.
“Our fans were fantastic tonight,” said head coach Frank Klopas. “I give a lot of credit to our 12th man to help push our players through. We created a lot of chances and it was a great win. It was important to attack from deep and play into the spaces to create numerical advantages.”
“As a team we were fantastic tonight,” added Nigel Reo-Coker. “We have a great team and we just need to be more consistent. When we play together as team, this is what we can do. We have the talent and the character.”
The Impact was especially strong down the spine defensively in this one, notably the Videotron Player of the game Laurent Ciman, shutting down the likes of Kaka, Brek Shea and Cyle Larin all game long.
A beautiful set piece in the 36th minute led to the game’s opening goal, when Marco Donadel played a short corner kick right onto the head of a charging Toia short post. The Impact left back redirected the ball towards the far post for his first career goal in MLS.
While the Impact continued to defend its lead with gusto, second half sub Dominic Oduro sealed the victory with a stoppage time goal after his initial pass across the box was blocked, burying the rebound for his 50th career MLS goal.
Good start to the game
The home side started the game well, making a number of dangerous runs into the final third and switching the field of attack on numerous occasions, with the best chance of the first half coming off of a low, sneaky free kick 11 minutes in that beat the wall, but was scooped up by Tally Hall.
Then in the 33rd minute, after the initial shot was blocked off of a corner kick, Piatti one-timed the rebound, which forced Hall into a huge reactionary save, low to his right.
Orlando City’s Cristian Higuita came close to tying it in the 41st minute when he hammered one from the half circle that just soared over the bar.
Carlos Rivas then tried a one-timer of his own in the 60th minute that was dipping towards the far post, but goalkeeper Evan Bush instinctively one-handed the ball out of danger to preserve his second shutout of the year.
“Getting that clean sheet was big for us as we don’t do that often enough,” explained defender Bakary Soumare. “We knew this was an important game for us in the standings. To win, the team had to be on the page. Now we have to turn the page and look to do the same in our upcoming games because we have the talent to do so.”
The Impact will play its next two games on the road, starting with a midweek contest versus Toronto FC at BMO Field this Wednesday night, at 8pm (RDS, TSN, TSN Radio 690, 98.5FM), followed by a matchup with the Union in Philadelphia on Saturday, June 27, at 7pm (TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690, 98.5FM).
MTL - GK-Evan Bush; D-Ambroise Oyongo, Laurent Ciman, Bakary Soumare, Donny Toia; M-Nigel Reo-Coker, Marco Donadel (Patrice Bernier 72'), Maxim Tissot, Ignacio Piatti (Calum Mallace 81'), Andrés Romero; F-Jack McInerney (Dominic Oduro 67')
Subs not used: GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Victor Cabrera, Wandrille Lefèvre; M-Dilly Duka
ORL - GK-Tally Hall; D-Aurélien Collin (Seb Hines 49'), Luke Boden, Rafael Ramos, Sean St Ludger; M-Brek Shea, Cristian Higuita (Pedro Ribeiro 77'), Darwin Ceren, Kaka, Lewis Neal (Carlos Rivas 61'); F-Cyle Larin
Subs not used: GK-Earl Edwards; M-Amobi Okugo, Eric Avila, Harrison Heath
MTL - Toia (Donadel) 36'
MTL - Oduro 90+3'
ORL - Higuita 45+1'
MTL - Bush 89'