Cavalry very nearly got on the board with a dangerous play within the first 20 seconds, but then the match settled into a more deliberate rhythm, with Maxi Urruti sending some long-range speculative shots toward Cavalry goalkeeper Marco Carducci. Then, in the 32nd minute, the captain pounced on a loose ball in the final third, made a decisive run into the box and emphatically finished to get the 1642 MTL's bell ringing in celebration.
In the second half, Piatti doubled the lead less than four minutes in, finding space in the box between Cavalry defenders, getting on the end of a Bacary Sagna cross and tapping it in. He nearly got a hat trick three minutes later, sending Lassi Lappalainen's would-be assist wide of the target.
Cavalry got a goal back in the 69th minute, with Sergio Camargo finishing on a play that took just two passes to get from Cavalry's own half to goal. Less than two minutes later, the visitors dropped to 10 men when their captain, Nikolas Ledgerwood, got a second yellow to add to his bandaged head, courtesy of an earlier collision with Ken Krolicki. But Montreal weren't able to take advantage of the man advantage with any additional scoring.
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- 32' – MTL – Ignacio Piatti
- 49' – MTL – Ignacio Piatti
- 69' – CAV – Sergio Camacho
- THE BIG PICTURE: It's the Impact's eighth straight trip to the semis of this tournament, speaking to their dominance, but they didn't look quite as dominant as they could have against a resilient Cavalry team. Will the one-goal lead (with an away goal given up) be enough to hold up when they travel to Calgary next Wednesday?
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Piatti's decisive, direct heads-up play leading to the first goal was just the boost the Impact needed.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Piatti is the clear choice here with the brace, though he'll surely be ruing the miss that would have resulted in a hat trick.
- MTL: Saturday, August 10 at Chicago Fire (9 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+, TVAS in Canada) | MLS
- CAV: Saturday, August 10 vs. HFX Wanderers FC (1 pm ET | CBC, OneSoccer.ca) | CPL