Piatti doing Piatti things

Argentine’s stunner the difference in first leg of Canadian Championship final

One thing was evident to all supporters that attended the first leg of the Canadian Championship final, Wednesday night at Stade Saputo: Nacho Piatti was feeling it.

Piatti was present all over the pitch, trying four shots, three of those on goal, providing options on the counter and even being a physical presence, at one point pushing Erickson Gallardo aside and recovering the ball, leaving the Venezuelan in the dust.

The Argentine proved to be the difference maker as well against Toronto FC, scoring a spectacular goal in the 17th minute, a belter from outside the box that gave goalkeeper Alex Bono absolutely no chance and left the Stade Saputo crowd absolutely stunned.

“I was surprised when he scored,” said Impact defender Bacary Sagna. “He was quite far and not in perfect position to kick the ball with power. In my head, I was thinking don’t shoot, and it ended up in the back of the net. He just made it happen. That’s why he’s Piatti. This is why he’s our captain, and this is why we missed him so much. He brings something different to the team and he’s a special player. It’s good to see him scoring goals again because he’s had a difficult season, but he’s a top player.”

It’s been a difficult year for the Impact’s maestro, Piatti only featuring in nine MLS games thus far due to injury. The midfielder had most recently made a return in the Impact’s game against FC Cincinnati, last Saturday at Stade Saputo, before starting against Toronto FC on Wednesday.

But his game-winner yesterday was already his fourth in the Canadian Championship thus far, making him the competition’s leading goalscorer at the moment, and it allows Montreal to head to Toronto for the second leg with a slight advantage.

“It feels good,” said midfielder Nacho Piatti. “It was a difficult year mentally for me, but I continued training to always return. Yesterday was always going to be a difficult game. We couldn’t concede and we had a huge performance to accomplish this objective. Now, there’s still the second half to play.”

That second leg will take place next Wednesday, at 7:30pm, at BMO Field, where the Voyageurs Cup will be handed out to the winners.