MONTREAL: Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7W-6L-2D) suffered their first-ever MLS loss to Montreal Impact (3W-4L-2D) on Wednesday night at Stade Saputo, falling 2-1 in their first of five straight matches on the road.
Pedro Morales scored his third goal of the season, and Vancouver’s first from the penalty spot in MLS regular season action this season, in the 75th minute to draw the game level after an early Jack McInerney strike. But Ignacio Piatti answered with a late winner in what was a dress rehearsal for August’s Amway Canadian Championship Final.
The ‘Caps, who outshot Montreal 20-15 on the night, are now 3W-3L-1D away from home this season.
Playing their second of three matches in eight days, Carl Robinson made six changes to his starting lineup for this midweek fixture. Most notably, Robinson left Morales and Octavio Rivero on the bench to start and reinserted centre back Diego Rodriguez – his first match since suffering a quad strain on April 8.
There wasn’t much in the game early, but Montreal struck first in the 14th minute. After a failed Whitecaps FC clearance, centre back Laurent Ciman blasted a long-distance volley off the crossbar. The rebound then fell to McInerney, who banged it into the corner.
Montreal began to control play in the period immediately following the goal, but that didn’t last long. The ‘Caps were all over their Eastern Canadian rivals in the late stages of the first half.
Kekuta Manneh had a couple chances, including a goal called back due to offside in the 40th minute. Mauro Rosales, lively as usual, had an appeal for a penalty shortly later. And then Nicolas Mezquida came close on a second-phase ball off a Rosales free kick, but saw his attempt deflected out for a corner.
The best chance of them all, however, came off the foot of Darren Mattocks in first-half stoppage time. After Kendall Waston held up a long ball into the box, the Jamaican striker fired a well-taken volley off the crossbar from 18 yards.
Montreal settled down a bit and created some quality chances early in the second half but couldn’t beat Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted. Meanwhile, Robinson made his subs by the 75th minute, bringing on Cristian Techera, Rivero, and then Morales.
And it had the desired effect.
Morales drew the game level for Whitecaps FC in the 79th minute, finishing from the penalty spot after Jordan Harvey was hauled down in the box.
Unfortunately for the Blue and White, it was cancelled out shortly later.
Piatti regained the lead for Montreal in the 83rd minute, finishing off an Andres Romero throughball at the centre of the box, and it proved to be the winner.
The ‘Caps now head directly to California, where they’ll meet LA Galaxy for a West Coast clash on Saturday night at the StubHub Center (7:30 p.m. PT – TSN2).
Budweiser Man of the Match: Jordan Harvey
Referee: Armando Villarreal
14′ – MTL – Jack McInerney
79′ – VAN – Pedro Morales (Penalty kick)
83′ – MTL – Ignacio Piatti (Andres Romero)
Shots: Montreal 15 – Vancouver 20
Shots on Goal: Montreal 7 – Vancouver 4
Saves: Montreal 3 – Vancouver 5
Fouls: Montreal 7 – Vancouver 6
Offsides: Montreal 1 – Vancouver 2
Corners: Montreal 4 – Vancouver 11
46′ – VAN – Diego Rodriguez
71′ – VAN – Tim Parker
90′ – VAN – Jordan Harvey
1.Evan Busch; 2.Ambroise Oyongo, 55.Wandrille Lefevre, 23.Laurent Ciman, 25.Donny Toia; 16.Calum Mallace, 8.Patrice Bernier (24.Anthony Jackson-Hamel 81′); 15.Andres Romero, 10.Ignacio Piatti, 29.Eric Alexander (51.Maxim Tissot 63′); 99.Jack McInerney (14.Nigel Reo-Coker 78′)
Substitutes not used
22.Eric Kronberg, 5.Bakary Soumare, 17.Romario Williams, 36.Victor Cabrera
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 26.Tim Parker, 4.Kendall Waston, 18.Diego Rodríguez, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert (77.Pedro Morales 74′); 9.Nicolás Mezquida (13.Cristian Techera 63′), 7.Mauro Rosales (29.Octavio Rivero 70′), 23.Kekuta Manneh; 11.Darren Mattocks
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 22.Christian Dean, 28.Gershon Koffie, 88.Robert Earnshaw