Repentigny native Samuel Piette scored his first Major League Soccer goal in the 52nd minute for Montreal.
Focus on wins and the goals will come. That was manager Thierry Henry’s message to his Impact players. And the team finally delivered.
In a wild affair that had a bit of everything, Montreal outscored the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-2 Sunday night at B.C. Place Stadium.
Orji Okwonkwo, Saphir Taïder on a penalty, Samuel Piette and Romell Quioto scored for the Impact, which improved to 5-4-1. Vancouver’s only goal came from Theo Bair, who opened the scoring. The Whitecaps also scored on a Rudy Camacho own-goal.
The victory also keeps the Impact’s hopes alive of defending its Canadian Championship. Montreal must defeat the Whitecaps on the road again Wednesday night by at least two goals for that scenario to occur.
It will likely be a spirited affair that night, hostilities between the two clubs high after each had a player ejected.
It was an entertaining and wide-open first 45 minutes, resulting in three goals and several more close opportunities.
Vancouver required only seven minutes to score. David Milinkovic delivered a long ball to Bair, who got behind defender Luis Binks. Despite a tight angle, Bair beat Clément Diop on a low shot off the far post.
Diop made a poor effort with his right foot, but should have come out farther to cut the angle off while making the net appear smaller.
The Whitecaps nearly made it 2-0 in the 13th minute, following a giveaway by Victor Wanyama in the box. Diop was much stronger this time, stopping Milinkovic.
Two minutes later, the Impact levelled the score. Piette fed Quioto off a quick transition. Despite a tight angle, Quioto’s shot banged off the post and went directly to Taïder. Rather than rush a take a shot, Taïider tapped the ball to Okwonkwo, who scored an easy goal.
Diop went high to strike away a Lucas Cavallini effort off a looping header in the 30th minute. Ten minutes later, Zachary Brault-Guillard fed Taïder, whose header eluded goalkeeper Thomas Hasal. But for the third time in two games, the Impact had a goal disallowed because of an offside play.
Montreal took a 2-1 lead just before halftime. Hasal made a rash challenge on Quioto, clipping the striker with his hands and sending Quioto down to the pitch, resulting in a penalty kick.
Taïder produced from the spot in stoppage time for his fourth goal of the season. Hasal dove to his right, but Taïder’s strike went to the left.
Piette scored his first Major League Soccer goal in the 52nd, increasing the Impact’s lead to 3-1. In full flight, Piette was able to convert Taïder’s service.
Vancouver striker Cavallini received the game’s first disqualification in the 57th, when his left foot recklessly clipped Diop in the head.
With the Whitecaps down to 10 men, Montreal required only three minutes to take a 4-1 lead. Piette fed Quioto, who slipped in behind defender Andy Rose and merely had to redirect the ball past a helpless Hasal.
The Whitecaps scored a second goal in the 66th. Second-half substitute Cristián Gutiérrez, who was raised in Greenfield Park, sent a cross into the area. Impact defender Camacho couldn’t handle the ball and deflected it past Diop for an own-goal.
Camacho, of course, was guilty of a glaring turnover late last Wednesday, against Toronto, eventually resulting in the winning goal by Jozy Altidore.
Montreal’s Emanuel Maciel was ejected in the 72nd following a sliding tackle, his studs striking the ankle of Cristian Dajome.
Cavallini and Maciel are not eligible to play Wednesday night, both players serving one-game suspensions following their red cards.
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Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, MLS, Canadian Championship
Actu monde – CA – Rare offensive explosion carries Impact to much-needed victory at Vancouver