Stay compact and make the most of your opportunities.
That's the mantra the Montreal Impact live by, and for the second week in a row it was good enough to get three points from a tough Cascadia road match. This time through they put away the Portland Timbers to the tune of 2-1, thanks to a spectacular bicycle kick goal from Hassoun Camara in the first half and a clinical counterattack finished by Felipe in the second.
The win sees the Imapct top the Eastern Conference standings, the first time they've been at that lofty perch.
They got there thanks in large part to Camara, who put Montreal ahead somewhat against the run of play 30 minutes in. He tallied on a spectacular overhead kick after Portland had failed to clear their lines following a Montreal set piece.
It was the second quality chance from Portland. The first had come on 11 minutes, but Donovan Ricketts got down well to his left to save a Marco Di Vaio header.
Portland pushed for the equalizer early in the second half, putting the Impact under constant pressure. Montreal 'keeper Troy Perkins, however, was repeatedly up to the task, and gave his side the breathing room to press up and hit in transition.
That's exactly how they conjured the second goal, with man of the match Patrice Bernier getting loose in midfield before slotting substitute Andres Romero through. Romero pulled it back to Felipe at the edge of the six-yard box, and the Brazilian made no mistake in beating Ricketts near-post.
The Timbers responded with a fury, aiming for their second comeback result in two weeks. Their breakthrough came in the 80th minute when forward Ryan Johnson got goalside of Camara, heading in from close range.
An equalizer probably should have come in the fourth minute of stoppage time after Darlington Nagbe skinned the Montreal defense then found Jose Valencia alone in the box. His blast, however, went straight into Perkins' gut and there was no rebound.
Montreal open their home slate next weekend when they host Toront FC, while the Timbers will be on the road at Seattle.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Patrice Bernier||Where'd Valeri go? He's in Bernier's pocket. Perfect leadership and defenes, and a game-changing through ball. Couldn't script it any better.|
|2||Troy Perkins||Ricketts had the most spectacular save, but Perkins had his share, was quick off his line, kept things organized and - most importantly - got all 3 points.|
|3||Darlington Nagbe||The Timbers won't be particularly thrilled to get just one point from two games, but with Nagbe showing up for 90 minutes at a pop there's a clear silver lining.|