Report: Impact closes in on playoff spot with comeback win against Philadelphia

MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact came back from a 1-0 deficit to beat the Philadelphia Union 2-1, Saturday afternoon, at Stade Saputo, in what was the team’s final regular season home game of the 2013 season. With the win, the Impact moves into third place in the Eastern Conference at 49 points and is now closer to a playoff spot, with the New England Revolution (45 pts – vs Columbus), Houston Dynamo (48pts - vs NYRB) and the Chicago Fire (46pts - vs TFC) yet to play this weekend.

Impact Designated Player Marco Di Vaio scored his league leading 20th goal in the win, becoming just the 11th player in MLS history to hit the 20-goal plateau in a single season, regaining the lead in the race for the golden boot. Academy product Karl W. Ouimette scored his first career goal in MLS - the game-winner late in the second half.

“I didn’t sleep last night but was hoping to score a big goal for the team.”
- Karl W. Ouimette

The Union opened the scoring in the 30th minute on a counter attack. Brazilian midfielder Kleberson played a through ball in behind the Impact defence that found Fabinho, who hammered the ball top corner from a tough angle that beat Impact keeper Troy Perkins.

The Impact found the equalizer in the 64th minute. Midfielder Felipe corralled a ball about 35 yards out from goal before playing midfielder Davy Arnaud down the left flank. The Impact captain took one touch into the box before finding Di Vaio back to goal. The Impact striker laid the ball off past the defender and spun around before firing on past goalkeeper Zac MacMath to his left.

Watch : Full match highlights

The Impact scored the game winner in the 84the minute when midfielder Justin Mapp played a free-kick into the box from deep down the right flank towards the far post that found Academy product Karl W. Ouimette. The defender jumped in the air and hammered a header home to score the Impact’s 50th goal of the season.

Post-game comments

“At half time, we discussed how we felt that we wanted to win, but wanting wasn’t enough,” said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. “I told the guys that I believe in them. After such a difficult week and some tough results, it’s a great moment and I’m very proud of the guys.”

“Coming into the game, I felt that the coaching staff had confidence in me,” said defender Karl W. Ouimette. “They asked me to play a position that I never played before in a game. I didn’t sleep last night but was hoping to score a big goal for the team. It was an incredible feeling.”

“I am so happy to finally score again and help the team move up in the standings,” said Marco Di Vaio. “We’ve had a tough stretch of five or six games, and to come out the way we did in the second half, after being a goal down, we showed character.”

Other highlights

In the 6th minute, Mapp played a lateral pass into the box that found Di Vaio, but his one-timer rolled just wide right of goal.

The Union hit the crossbar in the 24th minute, when a corner kick found Conor Casey short post.

Then in the 40th minute, a free-kick into the box by Hernán Bernardello found Hassoun Camara, but the defender’s header went wide left of goal.

“After such a difficult week and some tough results, it’s a great moment and I’m very proud of the guys.”
- Marco Schällibaum

Down a goal, Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum brought on a second striker in the 54th minute looking for some offence. Andrew Wenger came on, changing the formation from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-2.

Di Vaio and Arnaud almost hooked up for a second when the captain played a cross into the box. The Italian slid to get a touch, but the ball sailed over goal in the 67th minute.

Four minutes later, Di Vaio was played over the top by Mapp, but his short angle shot went wide far post.

Di Vaio again found space deep down the left flank, but his shot was deflected by MacMath in the 75th minute.

Last game

The Impact will conclude its second regular season in MLS next Saturday, at BMO Field, against Toronto FC at 4pm ET.


MTL – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Karl W. Ouimette, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta (Wandrille Lefèvre 89’), Hassoun Camara; M-Hernan Bernardello, Patrice Bernier (Andrew Wenger 53’), Felipe, Davy Arnaud (Andrea Pisanu 71’), Justin Mapp; F-Marco Di Vaio

Subs not used: GK-Evan Bush; D-Maxim Tissot; M-Collen Warner, Andrés Romero

PHI – GK-Zac MacMath; D-Raymon Gaddis (Roger Torres 88’), Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams; M-Jose Kleberson, Fabinho, Danny Cruz (Leo Fernandes 76’), Brian Carroll; F-Conor Casey, Jack McInerney (Antoine Hoppenot 67’)

Subs not used: GK-Oka Nikolov; D-Matt Kassel; M-Gilberto; F-Aaron Wheeler

PHI – Fabinho (Kleberson) 29’
MTL – Di Vaio (Arnaud, Felipe) 64’
MTL – Ouimette (Mapp) 84’

PHI – Carroll 39’
PHI – Casey 40’
MTL – Di Vaio 56’
MTL – Camara 89’
PHI – Okugo 89’
MTL – Pisanu 90+’