Recap: Impact net historic 1st win, 2-1 vs. rivals Toronto
MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact scored a goal in each half to register their first-ever MLS victory, 2-1, against Canadian rivals Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at Olympic Stadium.
Sinisa Ubiparipovic, making his first appearance of the season for Montreal, coolly slotted home a shot in the 17th minute and No. 1 overall SuperDraft pick Andrew Wenger doubled the Impact's lead with his first professional goal in the 81st minute as Montreal (1-4-1, four points) held off a late rally by 10-man TFC.
Toronto (0-4-0, zero points), who were reducted to 10 men when central defender Logan Emory was sent off in the 65th minute, got their consolation goal with two minutes to play on a header by Designated Player Danny Koevermans.
Montreal head coach Jesse Marsch made no less than five changes from the squad that lost midweek at Real Salt Lake and the Impact did well to dominate possession for most of the first half. However, the first chances of the match went TFC’s way. Emory sent the first salvo on a free kick header in the ninth minute and a Nick Soolsma shot narrowly missed the target.
But it was the Impact who struck first, making the most of a Terry Dunfield turnover. Montreal's Lamar Neagle found a wide-open Ubiparipovic, who side-footed a shot past goalkeeper Milos Kocic for an early Montreal lead.
Toronto nearly equalized through Koevermans, who saw his point-blank header stopped by charging Impact goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, leaving Koevermans grounded for a few minutes on the collision.
Toronto FC, who were coming off CONCACAF Champions League elimination against Santos Laguna on Wednesday, put Montreal’s defense under pressure in the second half, especially after rookie Luis Silva replaced Joao Plata. But TFC's dreams of a comeback suffered a blow when Emory was sent off for denying forward Sanna Nyassi a goalscoring opportunity.
Following Emory’s red card, TFC played with an even greater sense of urgency, leading to two good chances in the span of five minutes, but Montreal defenders Tyson Wahl and Shavar Thomas both came to Ricketts’ rescue.
Although not overly dangerous with the numerical advantage, Montreal capitalized on a one-on-one ball chase between Wenger and TFC central defender Ty Harden, with the rookie winning out and firing home past Kocic.
The late header by Koevermans on a Reggie Lambe cross gave TFC some hope but Montreal held on for the historic win.
Toronto, still without a point this season, host Chivas USA next Saturday, April 14, while Montreal travel to face FC Dallas on the same day.