After picking New England Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber’s pocket at the top of his penalty area, Montreal Impact midfielder Sanna Nyassi broke out towards the other end of the field with his signature blazing speed. As center back Hassoun Camara looked on at Nyassi’s initial acceleration, he felt like something special might happen.
“I know his qualities,” Camara told MLSsoccer.com after the Impact’s 1-0 win over the Revolution on Sunday night. “He’s a great, great player with a good mentality. When he comes in, he immediately benefits the group.”
Now in control of the ball, Nyassi embarked on a thrilling 60-meter run towards Revolution ‘keeper Matt Reis, nutmegging an unexpecting A.J. Soares before drilling a 20-yard drive into the corner of the net.
HIGHLIGHTS: NE 0, MTL 1
“All I wanted was to go for goal,” Nyassi told MLSsoccer.com, “because I knew [striker Marco Di Vaio] was on the left side, making a good run [and dragging a defender away].”
Back in the Impact’s half, Camara could only flash a wide smile as he realized just how beautiful his teammate’s 61st-minute strike was.
“I want to say it’s the goal of the year, because what he did was magnificent,” Camara said. “How far he started that run, the fact that we were away from home, where we absolutely needed to score… it’s an incredible goal. It should be the goal of the week, and right up there with the goals of the year.”
Wherever Nyassi’s wonderful strike ends up in the rankings, it will without doubt be considered one of the most important goals this season for Montreal. With 33 points so far this season, the Impact sit one place out of playoff contention in the Eastern Conference, but have played at least three more games than any team within five points of them in the standings.
It’s a situation that makes every outing from here until the end of the season crucially important. And if the Impact had forgotten that, there was a large travelling support group waiting for them at Gillette Stadium to drive the point home.
“I didn’t expect them to be out there,” Nyassi said. “When we were warming up, I saw them coming in with a lot of noise, and I was like ‘Wow!’ They inspired the whole team tonight.”