Bleu-blanc-noir edges out Ottawa 1-0 at TD Place
OTTAWA, Ontario - The Montreal Impact won the first edition of the Cap City Cup, edging out Ottawa Fury FC 1-0 on Friday night, at TD Place. Midfielder Clément Bayiha scored the game’s lone goal in the first half.
“I asked the players to stay serious and focused, to play simple and win this game,” said Joël Bats. “We showed tonight that we weren’t just a team, but a group of players. It’s the group that won tonight. We know that until the end of the season, we’ll need everyone to make the playoffs, so it’s good news.”
Bayiha started this Cup game in an Impact uniform. On Ottawa’s end, former Impact Academy graduates Gabriel Balbinotti and Jimmy Sanon made the start against their former club.
The Impact came close to scoring in the 34th minute. Bayiha, working on the left flank, cut in and passed to Mathieu Choinière, in the middle, but his shot was saved by keeper Callum Irving.
Two minutes later, in the 36th minute, the Impact got its goal. A Montreal corner was cleared by Ottawa’s defense up to Bayiha, in front of the box. The midfielder took a touch to eliminate his defender before finding the top corner for the game’s opening goal.
“I took my first touch, and after that it was all instinct,” said Bayiha. “I saw that I needed to shoot, so I did, and it went in. It was my first professional goal. It was a good game and it went well for me.”
Impact stays solid defensively
Impact goalkeeper Clément Diop was forced into action early in the second half, making a reflex save by diving to his right off an Ottawa corner to parry the ball aside.
Striker Anthony Jackson-Hamel managed to get in behind the defense in the 56th minute, but his shot from a difficult angle was parried over the bar by Irving.
Alejandro Silva, who entered the game in 64th minute, found himself in front of net just two minutes later after some nice movement for Montreal, but the Uruguayan’s shot missed just over the bar.
Goalkeeper James Pantemis entered the game midway through the second half in place of Diop and was forced to make a timely save in the 76th minute after a dangerous Ottawa set piece was played into Montreal’s box, but the Quebec keeper was sharp on his feet.
Ottawa picked up the pressure in the game’s final moments, but the Bleu-blanc-noir was able to stay sturdy defensively to maintain the clean sheet.
Centre-back Zakaria Diallo played 90 minutes.
“It feels great in every sense of the word, whether its on a sporting level or just morally speaking,” said Diallo. “I felt good physically throughout the entire game. It went well, and we need to continue working this way.”
After the international break, the Impact will travel to Pennsylvania to face the Philadelphia Union, also battling for a playoff spot, on Saturday, September 15, at 7:30pm (TVA Sports, 98.5fm, TSN 690). The following week, the Bleu-blanc-noir will be back in Montreal to face New York City FC at Stade Saputo on Saturday, September 22, at 7:30pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports).
MTL – GK-Clément Diop (James Pantemis 64’); D-Rudy Camacho (Alejandro Silva 64’), Victor Cabrera, Zakaria Diallo; Chris Duvall (Bacary Sagna 64’), Shamit Shome, Ken Krolicki, Mathieu Choinière, Clément Bayiha (Daniel Lovitz 64’); F-Matteo Mancosu (Quincy Amarikwa 64’), Anthony Jackson-Hamel
Subs not used – Jason Beaulieu, Rod Fanni
OTT – GK-Callum Irving; D-Hansly Félix Malonga, Jadon Vilfort, Sergio Manesio, Eddie Edward; M-Jimmy Sanon, Daniel Haber, Azake Luboyera, Thiago de Freitas; F-Gabriel Balbinotti, El Hadj Mour Samb
Subs – David Monsalve, Raphael Garcia, Alban Mero, Zak Drake, Jordan Montoya, Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé, Nathaniel Garcia, Adonijah Reid, Simeon Jackson
MTL – Bayiha 36’
OTT – Manesio 45’
MTL – Choinière 77’