Where did this come from?
The Montreal Impact came out of nowhere and stunned Real Salt Lake by a score of 4-1 at Stade Saputo. Montreal scored in committee – the four goals came from three different players and, in total, six players in blue got on the score sheet.
You can read our preview of the match HERE.
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Montreal pounced on Salt Lake early and never gave them an opportunity to get off the ground.
In the 18th minute, Marco Donadel put a dangerous corner into the box. Laurent Ciman pulled away from his marker and had honour of directing it into the open net. It was Belgian’s first goal since joining the Impact. In addition, it was Montreal’s first goal off a set piece in MLS since 2013. They made it look very easy.
Public address announce Robert Tanguay had barely finished pumping up the crowd after the goal, when Andres Romero tore down the right hand side and put a gorgeous chip over Nick Rimando.
Dominic Oduro, who was playing as the lone striker, was millimetres away from making it three-nil, but Rimando had his far post covered well and Freaky Fast’s low shot went wide. On the day, Oduro played very well. His speed was giving centre-back Elias Vasquez problems and he basically scored the third goal, which bounced off the ‘keeper, off the post, off Romero and in.
In the blink of an eye, it was three nothing Impact. With the fortunate bounce off the Argentine, the club doubled their number of goals in MLS all season in half an hour!
Then, using his speed once more, Oduro forced Vasquez to haul him down in the box and take a penalty. Ignacio Piatti stepped up, but hammered it off the post. The scoreboard as the teams headed to the dressing rooms read 3-0. Real Salt Lake had a single shot on target. The Impact had seven.
Coming out for the second half, it was crucial that Montreal keep the throttle down. In recent weeks they have had trouble coming out of the break and finishing games. This was the case once again.
May 16, 2015; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Impact forward Andres Romero (15) celebrates his goal against Real Salt Lake with teammate midfielder Dilly Duka (11) during the first half at Stade Saputo. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Not even five minutes had elapsed since the start of the final 45, and Devon Sandoval pulled his club back into the match. Sandoval collected the ball on the far right side of Evan Bush’s box and sent a cross-shot across the face of goal. It eluded Bush, but RSL’s forward deserves credit – there was very little margin for error.
In the 63rd minute, disaster struck. Oduro went down with an apparent groin injury. The severity is not clear yet, but with Cameron Porter out for the year and Kenny Cooper having just gone down for a few months, Montreal’s strike force has become even more stretched. Jack McInerney came in to replace the Ghanaian.
Jack Mack would make his presence felt, as he helped restore the three goal lead. His shot from a bad angle caused Rimando to give up a big rebound. It went right into the feet of Dilly Duka, who had been involved only sporadically until that point.
Montreal would be quite content on holding onto their lead. The closest RSL came to finding the back of the net was a Luis Gil shot that went off the post and was cleared by Ciman.
It represents the fourth time the MLS Montreal Impact have scored four goals in a match.
The first ten minutes of the second half were tough. We needed to be a little better focused after halftime, but we played through that. – Bakary Soumare
An incredible, complete performance by the Impact, save for coming out of the rooms a bit flat footed. Up and down the lineup, players did their job. You would have to be nit picking to find a flaw in this match.
Mauro Biello did well filling in for Frank Klopas. He kept urging his players on right until the end. It is interesting though, that Biello was on the touch line when the Impact won. If and when Klopas departs (which he will sooner or later), the former Impact captain could be next in line to take the reigns of the club.
“We really needed the win today and came out with a complete performance,” said the assistant manager.
Laurent Ciman elaborated on Biello’s praise.
“Everyone show their potential and played within themselves,” said the big centre-back postgame. “We moved the ball around well and played quickly with one or two touches. We showed our quality.”
The only piece of bad news was Oduro’s injury. How bad is it? For Montreal’s shake, you hope it’s not serious. Moreover, Oduro was just coming into form; scoring in two of his last three games and performing well in all his recent appearances.
Aside from the injury, the only question that remains is can Montreal build on their win? They will have a big test next Saturday, when they receive the Western Conference leaders, FC Dallas. The week after that, they will travel to Toyota Park for a date with the Chicago Fire. The Impact (1-3-2) have not gained any ground in the East, but do have three or four games in hand over their competition.
For RSL (3-5-3), they remain in a four-way tie for fourth position in the West on 11 points. They will be playing NYCFC next and then one of those teams they are tied with, the L.A. Galaxy.