Dzemaili brace and Piatti penalty win it against Union
CHESTER, Pennsylvania – The Montreal Impact recorded a second away win this season, a 3-0 victory over Philadelphia Union, at Talen Energy Stadium, this Saturday night. Montreal’s Designated Players Blerim Dzemaili, striking twice, and Nacho Piatti, on a penalty, showed the way in this controlled collective performance.
“Tonight was an excellent performance for us on the road,” said Impact head coach Mauro Biello. “We were strong in the first half, we controlled the rhythm of the game by keeping the ball and we created ourselves some chances. In the second half, they pushed a little bit more and we were able to hurt them on the counter-attack. These are three important points for us to start a busy week, with home games coming up on Wednesday and Saturday.”
Calm Impact side dictate rhythm
During the first half, a few chances were created by each team, but the two opponents preferred to remain balanced to prevent conceding an unwanted goal. Both sides hit the target once in the opening 45 minutes: Philadelphian striker CJ Sapong saw Evan Bush come off his line to save in the fifth minute, while Piatti asked some work from John McCarthy in the Union goal with a strong, low shot, four minutes later.
The Impact’s defensive unit was serene throughout the match. The four defenders, Chris Duvall, Laurent Ciman, Víctor Cabrera, and Daniel Lovitz, showed good cohesiveness, but Quebec-born midfielder Samuel Piette, in his first game in Bleu-blanc-noir, patrolled in front of the back line efficiently, winning the ball often and distributing in a simple manner.
“I think the whole team had a good game,” said midfielder Samuel Piette. “I am also happy with my performance, and the win is the cherry on top. It took maybe five or ten minutes to adapt to the intensity of MLS, but I adjusted quickly enough.”
Attack steps up in second half
The hosts made a few tactical tweaks after the break and were able to find a few shooting opportunities, including one for Fafà Picault, who entered Evan Bush’s box from the right but, once again, the American ‘keeper had the upper hand.
The Union came close to finding a first goal in the 66th minute, when a Haris Medunjanin cross finished in front of Giliano Wijnaldum, whose shot struck the post.
It was the Impact who opened the score, in the 69th minute. Ciman launched an attack on the left with a long ball for Lovitz, some way in the Union half, on the left flank. His first touch allowed him to cross the ball towards Dzemaili, and the Swiss international’s first-time shot emphatically beat McCarthy. It was his fourth game-winning goal this season.
In the first minute of added time, Piatti held up the ball in the opponent’s territory and freed Louis Béland-Goyette in behind the defense. The midfielder from Pointe-Claire sled to square a pass for Dzemaili, who rounded the goalkeeper with a few touches. McCarthy could only foul the Impact midfielder and concede a penalty that was duly dispatched by Piatti.
Finally, in the 94th minute, Dzemaili, after receiving a pass from Piatti, scored his second of the game, wrapping his foot around the ball to find the inside of the Union’s left post.
The Impact will have four consecutive games at home after this fixture, starting with a visit by Chicago Fire, on Wednesday, August 16, at 7:30pm at Stade Saputo (TVA Sports, TSN, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690 – TICKETS), before hosting Real Salt Lake on Saturday, August 19, at 7:30pm (TVA Sports, 98,5fm, CJAD800 – TICKETS).
MTL – G- Evan Bush; D- Daniel Lovitz, Laurent Ciman, Victor Cabrera, Chris Duvall; M- Samuel Piette, Blerim Dzemaili, Patrice Bernier (Louis Béland-Goyette 80’); F- Ignacio Piatti, Matteo Mancosu (Kyle Fisher 87’), Dominic Oduro (Michael Salazar 67’)
Unused subs: Maxime Crépeau, Shaun Francis, David Choinière, Anthony Jackson-Hamel
PHI – G- John McCarthy; D- Giliano Wijnaldum, Jack Elliott (Jay Simpson 85’), Joshua Yaro, Raymon Gaddis; M- Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya, Ilsinho (Roland Alberg 75’) Fabrice Picault, Chris Pontius (Marcus Epps 67’); F- C.J. Sapong
Unused subs: Jake McGuire, Richie Marquez, Fabinho, Warren Creavalle
MTL – Dzemaili 69’
MTL – Piatti 90’ + 1’ (PEN)
MTL – Dzemaili 90’ + 5’ (Piatti)
MTL – Duvall 47’
MTL – Piette 84’