Nacho Piatti scores brace, Evan Bush earns fourth shutout of the season
MONTRÉAL – The Montreal Impact triumphed over Orlando City SC, beating the Lions 3-0 at Stade Saputo on Wednesday night, in the club’s 25th anniversary commemorative game celebrating local talent. Nacho Piatti scored a brace, while Amro Tarek scored an own goal.
“We needed this game to continue building on that,” said head coach Rémi Garde. “We haven’t allowed a goal in our last two home games, and even in the game against Dallas, both goals were on set-pieces. That’s the solidity we need moving forward, with the offensive efficiency we were able to display tonight as well.”
With three saves made tonight, Evan Bush officially surpasses Greg Sutton for the most saves made by a goalkeeper in club history, in second and first division, with 492.
A flying start
The Impact knew how important a quick start would be against an Orlando team low on confidence, so it wasted no time imposing his rhythm on the game. In the 3rd minute, defender Daniel Lovitz found Nacho Piatti down the touchline, who quickly passed it towards Raheem Edwards, alone at the top of the box, but the Canadian international was stifled by a defender before he got the shot off.
The Bleu-blanc-noir didn’t stop there. A few seconds later, in the 5th minute, a shot from outside of the box was deflected directly to Saphir Taïder. The Designated Player took a step past his defender but was clipped by Cristian Higuita in the box. The referee wasted no time pointing to the spot, and Nacho Piatti stepped up to put the home side in the lead with a rocket past goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
In the 23rd minute, following a good spell of possession in the final third, Nacho Piatti sent a curled cross towards Matteo Mancosu, alone in front of goal, but the Italian striker’s header lacked precision and missed just wide.
Orlando City SC only managed its first shot in the 31st minute, when a cross from Oriol Rosell found Dominic Dwyer in the box, but his header was easily stopped by Evan Bush. Three minutes later, it was Rosell again from the top of the box, this time going for goal himself, but again Evan Bush was there with a diving save.
Consistency in the second half
At halftime, all current Academy players and former players from Quebec Patrice Bernier, Mauro Biello, Adam Braz, Patrick Diotte, Patrick Leduc, Grant Needham, Rocco Placentino and Antonio Ribeiro were presented to the crowd, as the Impact underlined the local talent that has marked the club in its 25 years of existence in the third of four thematic games this season.
Back from the locker rooms, the Bleu-blanc-noir took the frontfoot to start the second half, much like it did in the first. In the 55th minute, circling around Orlando’s final third, Nacho Piatti passed it to Lovitz, streaking down the wing. The defender swung it into the box on his first touch towards Mancosu, but it was Amro Tarek who deflected the ball into his own net to put the hosts up by two.
But Orlando came close to cutting the lead in half twice in the 65th. Justin Meram, working on the left, crossed for an open Dwyer in the box, but again the forward’s header was off the mark. Seconds later, Josué Colman was unleashed on the partial break, but centre-back Rod Fanni was back just in time to hinder the forward as he was shooting.
Montreal broke out on its end a few minutes later. Piatti, cutting in towards the middle from the left, passed it on the other side for an open Alejandro Silva, but the Uruguayan’s first touch let him down, and his shot was subsequently well wide.
Orlando’s best opportunity came in the 79th. A corner from Sacha Klejstan made its way to Rosell. His shot from inside the box deflected off substitute Stéfano Pinho, but Bush’s reflex was quick, and he blocked the effort.
The Bleu-blanc-noir got its third goal in stoppage time, and it did it in style. An inch perfect pass from Taïder allowed Piatti to turn behind the defense. The maestro took his time, dribbled past the goalkeeper, before putting it into a completely empty net. The goal marked Piatti’s 7th against Orlando all-time, and the club’s 300th in MLS.
The Impact will have a ten-day break for the beginning of the FIFA World Cup, before returning the favour to the Floridians and visiting Orlando City SC on Saturday, June 23 at 7:30pm at Orlando City Stadium (TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690). The Bleu-blanc-noir will then host a former rival gone West, Sporting Kansas City, on Saturday, June 30 at 7pm (TICKETS - TVA Sports, TSN, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690).
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Chris Duvall, Rod Fanni, Rudy Camacho, Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Saphir Taider, Raheem Edwards (Alejandro Silva 62’), Jeisson Vargas (Ken Krolicki 33’), Ignacio Piatti; F-Matteo Mancosu (Jukka Raitala 81’)
Subs not used – Clément Diop, Marco Donadel, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Michael Salazar
ORL – GK-Joe Bendik; D-Amro Tarek, Jonathan Spector, RJ Allen, Tony Rocha; M-Cristian Higuita (José Villareal 57’), Josué Colman (Chris Mueller 68’), Justin Meram (Stéfano Pinho 70’), Oriol Rosell, Sacha Kljestan; F-Dominic Dwyer
Subs not used – Earl Edwards Jr, Chris Schuler, Donny Toia, Dillon Powers
MTL – Piatti (PEN) 5’
MTL – BCSC 55’
MTL – Piatti (Taïder, Lovitz) 90’+2’
ORL – Dwyer 17’
ORL – Higuita 19’
ORL – Rosell 49’