The Impact, taking the field for the first time under new coach Thierry Henry, started with something close to a first-choice XI in a 4-3-3 formation. However, it was the second-half crew that made the difference against D.C. United.
Ballou Tabla was the star of the second half for Montreal, scoring the club's first and third goals.
The ex-Barcelona B man got in behind the defense to finish off a pass from Romell Quioto to open the scoring just after the hour mark, then added an insurance goal with an 84th-minute volley. Quioto, one of the club's key offseason acquisitions, scored the second goal of the game off an assist from Shamit Shome.
D.C. United closed out the scoring with a consolation goal in the 86th minute from Josh Fawole (per the Washington Post), the club's second-round draft pick (No. 42 overall) in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. No other lineup details were shared by D.C., except that Earl Edwards started in goal and played 90.
The Montreal Impact are getting set for a tough Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 series against Costa Rican powers Saprissa, beginning with a first leg road match on Wed., Feb. 19 (8 pm ET).
- 63' — MTL — Ballou Tabla
- 78' — MTL — Romell Quioto
- 84' — MTL — Ballou Tabla
- 86' — DC — Josh Fawole
Montreal starting XI: Clement Diop; Keesean Ferdinand, Karifa Yao, Rod Fanni, Clement Bayiha; Samuel Piette, Mathieu Choiniere, Steeven Saba^; Ignacio Piatti, Maximiliano Urruti, Bojan
Montreal second half XI: Evan Bush; Jorge Corrales, Joel Waterman, Rudy Camacho, Zachary Brault-Guillard; Shamit Shome, Tomas Giraldo, Amar Sejdic; Romell Quioto, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Ballou Tabla