MONTREAL - The Montreal Impact extended its unbeaten streak to five games Wednesday night, tying an MLS club record, by defeating the Chicago Fire 2-1 at Stade Saputo on goals by Didier Drogba and Andrés Romero.
“It wasn’t easy for us tonight as we played a team that changed coaches, which adds motivation,” said Impact head coach Mauro Biello. “We made a few mistakes, one that cost us on the goal, but we showed a lot of character to score that second goal.”
Despite some difficult moments, the Impact managed to pull out the victory on two beautifully prepared goals.
Midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker played a perfect cross into the box, just past the short post, where Didier Drogba ran onto it and headed it behind Fire keeper Jon Busch in the 39th minute for his fifth of the season in as many games.
“We dedicate this win to Ignacio (Piatti's) father, who is in a difficult moment right now. We played against a team that we beat only a few weeks ago, so they came here with something to prove,” explained Drogba. “We didn't have our best game and there was a little fatigue there tonight, but to find a win under these conditions shows what kind of team we are.”
The Fire tied things up in the second half on a bit of a broken play. Gilberto chased down a ball that was played over the defence and alone in front of Evan Bush, his chip was deflected by the Impact keeper. The rebound fell to the Brazilian, who saw his header go off the post, but David Accam slotted it into the open net in the 50th minute.
Second half substitute Andrés Romero made the home crowd jump to their feet in the 76th minute when he cooly finished a slick Patrice Bernier through ball for the game-winner.
“With the spirit this team has and the roll we are on, it was nice to contribute tonight,” said captain Patrice Bernier, who earned an assist on his birthday. “A win, an assist and a great reception by the fans made for a special night for me and the team.”
Defender Laurent Ciman was ejected from the game in stoppage time when the referee showed him his second yellow of the game. On the resulting free-kick, Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush made a huge save, diving to his left to parry a Jeff Larentowicz header going low short side and preserve the win.
The team will play its third straight home game in eight days this Saturday, versus D.C. United, at 5pm ET at Stade Saputo.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Donny Toia, Laurent Ciman, Victor Cabrera, Ambroise Oyongo; M-Nigel Reo-Coker, Kyle Bekker (Patrice Bernier 62’), Dilly Duka, Johan Venegas (Andrés Romero 72’), Dominic Oduro (Hassoun Camara 88’); F-Didier Drogba
Subs not used: GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Wandrille Lefèvre; M-Maxim Tissot, Eric Alexander
CHI – GK-Jon Busch; D-Lovel Palmer, Lovel Palmer, Jeff Larentowicz, Ty Harden, Patrick Doody; M-Matt Polster, Razvan Cocis, David Accam, Patrick Nyarko (Harry Shipp 83’); F-Kennedy Igboananike (Joevin Jones 66’), Gilberto (Mike Magee 78’)
Subs not used: GK-Alex Kann; D-Daneil Cyrus; M-Michael Stephens, Matt Watson
MTL – Drogba (Reo-Coker) 39’
CHI – Accam 50’
MTL – Romero (Bernier) 76’
CHI – Cocis 45+1’
CHI – Polster 56’
MTL – Ciman 58’
MTL – Romero 76’
CHI – Doody 80’
MTL – Cabrera 86’
CHI – Harden 89’
MTL – Ciman (second yellow) 90+1’