It looked like the Montreal Impact were going to remain winless despite being up a man for the entire second half.
Then, Anthony Jackson-Hamel came to the rescue.
Jackson-Hamel scored a winner deep into stoppage time to help the Impact pick up their first victory of the season via a 2-1 home triumph over Atlanta United on Saturday. The late goal at Stade Saputo came after Jackson-Hamel flicked a shot from Hernan Bernardello to the far post. It capped Montreal's comeback effort, though they benefited from a controversial call just before half-time.
Head official Alan Kelly sent off Atlanta United center back Leandro Gonzalez Pirez with a straight red card in the final moments of the first half for a foul on Matteo Mancosu. The call allowed Ignacio Piatti to score an equalizer from the spot, and left Atlanta with a numerical disadvantage that ultimately proved too great for them.
- 40' – ATL – Kenwyne JonesWatch
- 45+5' – MTL – Ignacio Piatti (PK) Watch
- 90+3' – MTL – Anthony Jackson-Hamel Watch
- GAME-CHANGING CALL: The Impact and their fans will be more than happy to have grabbed their first win of the season, but there is no denying that the club benefited from referee Kelly's questionable decision to eject Gonzalez Pirez right before halftime. The sending off left Atlanta United, who had been playing mostly on even terms, with 10 men and they struggled to keep possession in the second stanza as a result. That ultimately allowed Montreal to find more space to attack before netting their late winner.
- STAYING AGGRESSIVE: Atlanta deserves some credit for how they reacted to losing a center back. While most teams would probably choose to sacrifice a forward in order to get another central defender on the field, Atlanta United head coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino sacrificed Julian Gressel in order to get Anton Walkes on the field. Martino seemed to want to try and keep all his attacking pieces on the field to try and pull out a victory. It did not work in the end, but it was refreshing to see the expansion team attempt to stay aggressive in a difficult situation.
- WELCOME BACK, PIATTI: After spending the last few weeks on the sidelines because of an injury, Piatti made his return to the Montreal lineup on Saturday afternoon and certainly did not disappoint. In addition to scoring the equalizer with a well-taken penalty kick, Piatti showed off plenty of his individual brilliance by constantly making smooth dribbling runs past Atlanta defenders. He was also aggressive in attempting shots from a number of angles. Sure, there was some rust that needs to be worked off, but this was a good first performance back from the Impact playmaker.