The Impact gets another point on the road
ORLANDO, Florida – The Montreal Impact tied Orlando City 3-3 Saturday night, at Orlando City Stadium. A brace from Nacho Piatti allowed the Bleu-blanc-noir to come from behind in the second half and take a 3-2 lead, but Orlando scored the equalizer in stoppage time.
“It was a wild game tonight but every week we have to deal with special situations and we have to get used to them,” said Impact head coach Mauro Biello. “We did not play particularly well in the first half, but we made a few adjustments in the second half and put more pressure on their two center backs to score two goals. It’s unfortunate not getting the three points, but we got an important point on the road tonight in tough conditions.”
The Impact dominated in the first half
Orlando City SC got the lead in the 8th minute when Matias Pérez Garcia took advantage of a cross on the ground from Kaka, after the ball went out behind the goal line, to beat Bush on a left-footed shot from the six-metre line.
The Bleu-blanc-noir wasted no time and equalized in the 16th minute. After dribbling by two defenders, Nacho Piatti passed the ball to Blerim Dzemaili who one-timed a strong, low shot to beat Joe Bendik to his right and score his second goal of the season.
In the 23rd minute, defender Laurent Ciman blocked Will Johnson’s shot on the goal line, but the ball landed to Carlos Rivas’ feet, and his shot beat Bush to his left side.
Just before halftime (42nd minute) Bush dove to his right and made a save on Rivas. He previously made a nice save on Higuita in the 15th minute.
The Impact comes back, thanks to Piatti
Nacho Piatti scored two quick goals before the hour mark, tallying his 7th and 8th goals of the season. In the 58th minute, Dzemaili made a pass to Piatti who beat Bendik with a precise shot between the legs. Less than a minute later, Piatti pounced on the goalkeeper’s rebound and scored in an empty net. Piatti's goals were the two quickest consecutive goals scored by the same Impact player, on the road in MLS.
“We will take the point tonight, come back home, and work hard in preparation of Wednesday’s final against Toronto and then the Columbus game on Saturday,” said Piatti. “I’m happy to help the team by scoring goals, but we return to Montreal a bit disappointed without the three points.”
Defender Hassoun Camara almost doubled Montreal’s lead when he got two clear chances in the 77th minute. His first shot was saved by Bendik while the second hit the left post.
In stoppage time, Orlando defender Jonathan Spector equalized with header on a corner from Matias Pérez Garcia.
The Bleu-blanc-noir still remains unbeaten in its last four games and has now earned a point in six of its eight road games this season.
“There is some frustration because of the goal we allowed at the end of the game,” said Hassoun Camara. “It was a scrappy match and we had a tough time in the first half, but we adjusted tactically and we found balance to make them doubt. With hindsight, we will probably say it was a fair draw.”
A few changes in the lineup
Laurent Ciman, as well as midfielders Blerim Dzemaili and Patrice Bernier were back in the starting lineup after their stints with their national teams.
Right back Chris Duvall, who was suspended for one game following his red card last Saturday in Kansas City, was replaced by Camara.
Matteo Mancosu was also back in the starting lineup for the first time since April 29, when he has started against Vancouver.
The Impact will play its next game at Stade Saputo on Wednesday, June 21, at 7:30 EDT, against Toronto FC, in the first leg of the Canadian Championship final (RDS, TSN, 98.5fm, TSN Radio 690). Excellent tickets for this final, as well as prorated season tickets, are offered on impactmontreal.com.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Daniel Lovitz, Kyle Fisher, Laurent Ciman, Victor Cabrera, Hassoun Camara; M-Marco Donadel, Blerim Dzemaili (Calum Mallace 89’), Patrice Bernier (Hernan Bernardello 62’); F-Ignacio Piatti, Matteo Mancosu (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 72’)
Subs not used: Maxime Crépeau, Andrés Romero, Michael Salazar, Dominic Oduro
ORL – GK-Joe Bendik; D-Scott Sutter, Jonathan Spector, José Aja (Tommy Redding 72’), Donny Toia; M-Matias Pérez Garcia, Will Johnson (Luis Gil 88’), Christian Higuita, Kaká; F-Giles Barnes, Carlos Rivas
Subs not used: Josh Saunders, Servando Carrasco, Richie Laryea, Victor Pagliari Giro, Hadji Barry
ORL - Matias Pérez Garcia (Kaká) 8’
MTL – Blerim Dzemaili (Piatti) 16’
ORL – Carlos Rivas 23’
MTL – Ignacio Piatti (Blerim Dzemaili) 58’
MTL – Ignacio Piatti 59’
ORL – Jonathan Spector (Matias Pérez Garcia) 90’ + 4’
MTL – Laurent Ciman 18’
MTL – Blerim Dzemaili 45’ + 2’
MTL – Daniel Lovitz 52’
ORL – José Aja 60’
ORL – Matias Pérez Garcia 89’