Blerim Dzemaili made the difference yet again as the Montreal Impact edged the Philadelphia Union at rainy Stade Saputo on Wednesday night, the Swiss international scoring the winner shortly after halftime to lead the Impact to a 2-1 victory.
It's Dzemaili's fourth goal in eight MLS games since arriving from Serie A side Bologna in May, and his third game-winner, to go with his four assists to date.
Michael Salazar opened the scoring for the home side with an angled header on a Chris Duvall cross, but Fafa Picault drew the Union level after intercepting a poor back pass by Duvall, the only one of several inviting chances the speedster was able to finish in a busy first half.
The match was delayed more than 20 minutes by heavy thunderstorms rolling across Montreal.
- NO PIATTI, NO PROBLEM...MOSTLY: The Impact have often been accused of overdependency on star playmaker Ignacio Piatti, who missed this game with an adductor injury. Led by Dzemaili, Salazar and Ballou Tabla, the attack wasn't too bad against Philly. The defending, however, left something to be desired, with Duvall and Laurent Ciman both gifting big chances to Picault.
- FRUSTRATING FAFA: Had he finished his looks efficiently, Picault might well have bagged a hat trick in this one. The former St. Pauli winger is one of the fastest players in MLS and he made himself a nuisance to the Impact defense, but inconsistency in both finishing and decision-making hurt the Union's chances of grabbing a positive result. That said, substitute Jay Simpson was similarly wasteful, if hard-working, in front of goal.
- SWEET HOME QUEBEC: Five of IMFC's six league wins have come at Stade Saputo, and if they are to climb back into the East playoff picture they'll need to build and maintain a strong run of form on friendly soil. Seven of their next nine games are at home, a crucial late-summer stretch. The Union, meanwhile, are now 1-5-3 on the road.