The Montreal Impact earned its fourth win in as many games to start the 2013 season, Saturday, defeating the New York Red Bulls with a 1-0 shutout at Olympic Stadium.
The Impact scored the game’s first goal in the 14th minute, when midfielder Patrice Bernier chipped the ball with his first touch between the Red Bulls defenders, springing Marco Di Vaio in alone as he timed his run perfectly to stay on side. Di Vaio let the ball bounce forward before firing a low shot from the half circle with his left foot that beat Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles to his left as he came charging out of his net.
On the play, Bernier earned his third assist in as many games, while Di Vaio’s goal was his second career marker versus New York and his second this season in consecutive games.
Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins earned his second shutout of the season, the 42nd of his career, putting him in 10th place all-time in MLS. He came up big in the 38th minute when a free kick from 40 yards out was played second post by Brazilian Juninho, but Heath Pearce’s header was stopped by a diving Perkins short post. Then in the 71stminute, New York played a ball into the box that found an outstretched Luyindula, but his lunging attempt from the six yard box was stopped.
The Impact played the last 15 minutes with a man advantage as Red Bulls defender Brandon Barklage was ejected following two yellow card fouls.
The team has not given up a goal in the first half of a game this season and has scored first in every game this season.
Defender Karl W. Ouimette made his first start for the Impact in MLS, becoming the first ever Impact Academy product to be named to the starting lineup in an MLS regular season game.
Midfielder Justin Mapp came on in the second half, making his 250th appearance in MLS, while defender Hassoun Camara surpassed the 2,000 minutes played plateau with the club.
“In the first half, we suffered a little bit, especially the first 10 minutes,” said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. “We played too far away from New York when defending and didn’t create anything up until we scored and then it lifted us a little. The second half was better. We seem to score goals at opportune moments in a game.”
“I felt good out there tonight. I fell like things are getting better for me every game and I reacted well in finding space when moving forward,” said Di Vaio. “We are creating a lot of chances and we keep improving on the mental aspect of the game, but the season is long and we have to keep working and improving. We are pleased because we just beat a very good team.”
“I was nervous… really nervous,” said Ouimette, about his first start. “I got goose bumps all over. But once you get your first touch, you get into the game. Then I won my first duel and it gave me confidence going forward.”
In the 22nd minute, midfielder Felipe intercepted a clearance by a New York defender near the top of the half circle, and then fired one for the top right corner that was grabbed by a diving Robles.
In the 51st minute, midfielder Andrea Pisanu found a loose ball about 35 yards out that he curled towards goal, but Robles punched it over the bar.
Midfielder Davy Arnaud came close in the 64th minute when Bernier found him making a run into the box down the right flank, but the captain’s attempted lob over the keeper landed on top of the goal.
In the 69th minute, midfielder Andres Romero, making a run down the right flank, played a low cross that curled behind the New York defenders, but Di Vaio’s touch on the ball went wide far post.
Di Vaio found the ball in the 73rd minute that was played across the middle by defender Hassoun Camara, but the Impact DP’s shot was pushed out of bounds by Robles, diving right.