The Montreal Impact won its third game in a row at Stade Saputo on Saturday night, beating the Eastern Conference leading New York Red Bulls 3-1 (halftime 0-0) in front of 19,441 spectators, the first sellout since Stade Saputo’s expansion. Impact Designated Player Marco Di Vaio scored his first career goal in MLS, while Brazilian midfielder Felipe had three assists in the win.
Di Vaio broke the deadlock in the 48th minute when midfielders Felipe and Justin Mapp played two short lateral passes from about 25 yards out that found Di Vaio alone near the left corner of the box. Di Vaio carried the ball in and fired a left footed shot that beat New York Red Bulls’ goalkeeper Gaudette low, to the far side.
The Impact doubled its lead two minutes later when Felipe played a short chip ball over the New York defence to fellow midfielder Davy Arnaud. The captain broke in alone on goal and beat Gaudette from 16 yards out with a high shot over the keeper’s right shoulder.
The Red Bulls cut the Impact’s lead in half when midfielder Joel Lindpere played a cross from deep down the left flank to the far post in the 57th minute. Forward Thierry Henry brought the ball down before firing a right-footed shot that beat Impact goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts high over his left shoulder as he came out to challenge the shot.
Gambian midfielder Sanna Nyassi put the Impact back up by two goals in the 74th minute. Di Vaio played a ball across the top of the box to Felipe, who found Nyassi towards his left with a through ball, his 8th assist of the season. Nyassi broke in alone, dribbled around Gaudette who came charging out of his crease to the outside, and fired home his team’s insurance goal into an open net from near the goal line. It was his 5th career goal versus New York.
In the 21st minute, defender Jeb Brovsky played a through ball down the left flank to midfielder Justin Mapp just passed the half line. Mapp dribbled the ball into the box, and fired a hard, low shot from about six yards out near the short post that Gaudette stopped point blank.
The Red Bulls came close in the 33rd minute when a scramble in the box for a loose ball fell to forward Kenny Cooper, but his first time volley was stopped from point range by Donovan Rickets, diving to his left. Ricketts registered his 8th win of the season.
Brazilian midfielder Felipe came close to restoring the Impact’s two-goal lead in the 64th minute, but his shot from just outside the top of the box skimmed off the crossbar.
“We were organized, we were hard on them and we didn’t give them much,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “A bunch of guys had good nights and collectively, we kept things tight. New York’s a good team. We made it difficult for their key guys and overall that was a good performance.”
“I’m very happy the way this new chapter in my life started,” said Alessandro Nesta, who played 90 minutes. “I’m pleased with the way we all played tonight. Now we have to keep playing we like this as we need to win as many games as possible if we want to push for a playoff spot.”
“We played a great game tonight,” said Marco Di Vaio. “It was extremely important for us to win this game and we stepped up. It wasn’t an easy game against a good team and we delivered. I finally scored my first goal and it felt great because it came in an important win for the team.”
The Impact looks to revenge a 2-1 road loss to the Philadelphia Union next Saturday at Stade Saputo, at 7:30pm. Individual tickets for games at Stade Saputo are available via the Admission Network. Three-game mini-season packages at Stade Saputo are now available, starting at $53, by calling 514-328-3668, via impactmontreal.com. Special family and friend packages, as well as new student rates are also available.
On Sunday, the Impact and the Red Bulls were set to face off in Reserve League action, but the game has been rescheduled to Tuesday, August 21, at 1:30pm (ET).
MTL: GK- Donovan Ricketts; D – Jeb Brovsky, Alessandro Nesta, Nelson Rivas (Matteo Ferrari 78′), Hassoun Camara; M – Felipe (Andrew Wenger 87′), Collen Warner, Patrice Bernier, Justin Mapp (Sanna Nyassi 61′), Davy Arnaud; F – Marco Di Vaio
Subs not used: GK – Evan Bush; D – Dennis Iapichino; M – Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Lamar Neagle
NYRB: GK – Bill Gaudette; D – Jan Gunnar Solli, Markus Holgersson, Wilman Conde, Roy Miller; M – Joel Lindpere (Victor Palsson 79′), Dax McCarty, Connor Lade; F – Sebastien Le Toux, Kenny Cooper, Thierry Henry
Subs not used: GK – Ryan Meara; D – Jonathan Borrajo, Stephen Keel; M – Jhonny Arteaga
MTL – Di Vaio (Mapp, Felipe) 48′
MTL – Arnaud (Felipe) 50′
NY – Henry (Lindpere, Miller) 57′
MTL – Nyassi (Felipe, Di Vaio) 74′