Nacho Piatti makes his return in the second half
MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact and the New England Revolution played to a scoreless draw, Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo, in a game that saw Nacho Piatti come back from injury. The Montreal club has now kept three clean sheets in four home games this season.
“We’re always disappointed when we don’t win at home,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “Our first 45 minutes of play were interesting. We had rhythm and we created situations we’d drawn up before the game. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t score during this period of play. As the game progressed, we weren’t as good circulating the ball. Our level of play in the second half leaves me a little unsatisfied in the end.”
Chances for the hosts
Impact supporters saw their favourites get their first chance in the 16th minute. Midfielder Shamit Shome dribbled past his man on the right flank, passing in the box for Maxi Urruti. The Argentine turned and shot, but his attempt missed just wide of the right post.
Montreal continued pushing in the opponent’s third. In the 27th minute, Shami Shome, running at defenders with speed, laid it off to Orji Okwonkwo to the right. The Nigerian cut in and unleashed a left-footed shot, but it missed high of Matt Turner’s net.
A minute later, Shome again recovered the ball in the opposing half, finding Okwonkwo for a second time down the flank. This time he crossed, finding Saphir Taïder in the middle, but he could not connect properly, and his shot was stopped by Turner.
The hosts thought they opened the scoring in the 33rd minute, when midfielder Samuel Piette found Shome further up the pitch. Shome turned, immediately passing between two defenders for Urruti. The Argentine managed to chip the ‘keeper, but his shot was cleared off the line by a Revs defender.
The visitors answered in the 37th minute through DeJuan Jones, brought in two minutes prior. Jones ran down the touchline, picking up speed and beating his defender before cutting in towards goal and shooting from in close, but luckily goalkeeper Evan Bush had his angles covered.
Piatti enters the game
New England had a good spell after the break, settling into Montreal territory in the first few minutes. In the 49th minute, Designated Player Carles Gil managed to create some space to Bush’s right and took a shot, but the Montreal ‘keeper was well-placed to parry it away.
In the 66th minute, after missing 10 games with an injury, Designated Player Ignacio Piatti came on as a substitute, replacing Mathieu Choinière on the left side. The Argentine last played in a 3-1 win against Orlando City SC on March 16.
The Argentine made an immediate impact but was unable to get any clean looks on goal in just under 30 minutes of play.
Defender Daniel Lovitz, who’s played every minute for the team this season, made his 75th start in MLS, while midfielder Samuel Piette and goalkeeper Evan Bush made their 51st and 48th consecutive starts, respectively. After receiving a yellow card in second half stoppage time, his fifth this season, Piette will be suspended for the team’s next game against Los Angeles FC on Friday, May 24. Bush, on his end, adds a sixth clean sheet in 2019.
“I’m very happy to be back with the group, said midfielder Nacho Piatti. “I was on the outskirts for a long time and now I feel great. I want to thank the supporters, because I truly felt their backing today. We tried to win this game, but the other team did enough to merit the point.”
Next week, the Impact will play its only Friday night game this season, on May 24 at 10:30pm against Los Angeles FC at Banc of California Stadium (TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690). Montreal will then head back home for four consecutive games, starting with the fixture on Wednesday, May 29, at 7:30pm, against Real Salt Lake (TICKETS – TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690).
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Zachary Brault-Guillard, Zakaria Diallo, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Saphir Taïder, Shamit Shome; F-Mathieu Choinière (Ignacio Piatti 66’), Maximiliano Urruti, Orji Okwonkwo (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 74’)
Subs not used – Clément Diop, Rudy Camacho, Daniel Kinumbe, Ken Krolicki, Micheal Azira
NE – GK-Matt Turner; D-Andrew Farrell, Brandon Bye, Edgar Castillo (DeJuan Jones 35’), Jalil Anibaba; M-Carles Gil, Cristian Penilla, Diego Fagundez (Tajon Buchanan 60’), Juan Agudelo, Luis Caicedo; F-Teal Bunbury (Wilfried Zahibo 90’)
Subs not used – Brad Knighton, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Scott Caldwell, Juan Fernando Caicedo
NE – L. Caicedo 21’
NE – Farrell 56’
NE – Agudelo 66’
MTL – Piatti 79’
MTL – Shome 82’
MTL – Brault-Guillard 89’
MTL – Piette 90’+5’