Bleu-blanc-noir now within a point of fifth in the Eastern Conference
CHESTER, Pennsylvania - The Montreal Impact came from behind and beat the Philadelphia Union 4-1, Saturday night at Talen Energy Stadium. Alejandro Silva and Saphir Taïder scored in the first half for the visitors after defender Austin Trusty opened the scoring in the 11th minute, before striker Quincy Amarikwa and Silva’s second of the night sealed the win in the second half.
“This victory belongs to the players, because they worked hard and followed the game plan,” said head coach Rémi Garde. “We saw tonight that the collective spirit was strong, and that there’s a force present in the group at the moment that’s very interesting.”
The win brings the Bleu-blanc-noir to within a point of the Union and the fifth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings with five games remaining. The Impact also puts an end to Philadelphia’s six-game unbeaten streak, including five wins, which began on August 8.
Hosts open the scoring, visitors answer
The Union opened the scoring in the 11th minute off the team’s first shot on goal. Borek Dockal received a short corner and whipped it in, finding defender Auston Trusty, who redirected it past Bush for his first goal of the season.
The momentum shifted the home team’s way after the goal and the Union spent more time in the Impact’s third, threatening a second goal, but in the 28th minute, the Bleu-blanc-noir struck on the counter. Nacho Piatti recovered the ball in his own final third, ran it past midfield and found a streaking Silva to his right. Goalkeeper Andre Blake rushed out to stifle the Uruguayan, but he was able to keep his cool and bring the score level.
The visitors were back at it before the end of the half. In the 39th minute, Piatti, facing his defender on the left side, passed to Amarikwa at the top of the box. The American striker turned and shot, forcing a diving save from Blake, but midfielder Saphir Taïder was first on the ball, slotting it in to give Montreal the lead.
“Saphir did a good job anticipating that my shot was going to be on net, and he was there to put it in,” said Quincy Amarikwa. “I feel like the guys are learning how I play, and through that they’re seeing that they could get opportunities off second chances. It’s great to see us coming together, especially considering the playoff run.”
All Montreal in the second
After taking 11 shots in the first 45, the most by the Impact this season, Montreal was back in the driver’s seat upon returning from the locker room, limiting Philadelphia by staying sound defensively and not allowing the Union to get a good look on Evan Bush’s cage.
In the 63rd minute, the Impact doubled its lead. Piatti, on the left side, waited patiently before finding left-back Daniel Lovitz in behind the defense. The American was able to find Amarikwa in the six-yard box, who redirected it past Blake for his first goal with the Bleu-blanc-noir.
Then, in the 76th minute, Montreal’s counter proved lethal again. Silva recovered the ball off a Union corner and ran deep into Union territory. He found Piatti in front of the box, who played it immediately back to Silva. Alone in front of Blake, the Uruguayan calmly chipped the goalkeeper for his second of the night.
“We were more mature than usual and intelligent tonight,” said defender Rod Fanni. “We stuck to the game plan the coach established and it worked well. We’re happy, because it shows mental progress on our end, and because it’s a huge result away from home.”
Nacho Piatti’s two assists bring his tally to 11 on the season, breaking an Impact record for most assists in a season. Silva, on his end, continues his strong play, with three goals and one assist in his last three games.
Samuel Piette broke a club record by making his 29th consecutive start with the Bleu-blanc-noir this season, the most by an Impact player in both the first and second divisions.
The Impact continues its race to the playoffs by hosting New York City FC at Stade Saputo on Saturday, September 22 at 7:30pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports), before visiting Audi Field for the first time in another crucial game on Saturday, September 29 at 7pm (TVA Sports).
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Bacary Sagna, Rod Fanni, Rudy Camacho, Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Micheal Azira, Saphir Taïder (Ken Krolicki 87’); F-Alejandro Silva, Quincy Amarikwa (Jukka Raitala 71’), Ignacio Piatti (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 80’)
Subs not used – Clément Diop, Chris Duvall, Shamit Shome, Matteo Mancosu
PHI – GK-Andre Blake; D-Auston Trusty, Jack Elliott, Keegan Rosenberry, Raymon Gaddis; M-Alejandro Bedoya, Borek Dockal (Derrick Jones 72’), C.J. Sapong (Fabian Herbers 64’), Fabrice-Jean Picault, Haris Medunjanin; F-Cory Burke (David Accam 80’)
Subs not used – John McCarthy, Fabinho, Mark McKenzie, Warren Creavalle
PHI – Trusty (Dockal, Medunjanin) 11’
MTL – Silva (Piatti) 28’
MTL – Taïder 39’
MTL – Amarikwa (Lovitz) 63’
MTL – Silva (Piatti) 76
MTL – Silva 21’
PHI – Elliott 42’
PHI – Burke 56’