Montreal's starting lineup featured three newcomers, but it was the old guard who got the ball rolling. Off a short corner kick, Ignacio Piatti, 34, dribbled along the endline and rifled past Argentine goalkeeper Daniel Vega to make it 1-1 in the 29th minute.
The game tilted the Impact's way from there, with Saphir Taider scoring the eventual game-winner in the 44th minute. He ghosted to the back post, volleying home a bending, precise cross from center back Zakaria Diallo, who missed all of last season with an Achilles tendon injury.
Despite the loss, San Jose got the scoring underway in the 11th minute via Swedish midfielder Magnus Eriksson, when he picked out a corner from the top of the 18-yard box.
Chris Wondolowski, one strike shy of tying Landon Donovan's all-time record for regular-season goals in MLS (145), was held off the scoresheet.
- 11' – SJ – Magnus Eriksson | WATCH
- 29' – MTL – Ignacio Piatti | WATCH
- 44' – MTL – Saphir Taïder | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: With a new coach comes a new system, and it seems as though San Jose is still learning all those intricacies under Almeyda. Newcomers such as left back Marcos López and winger Cristian Espinoza had bright moments, though. As for Montreal, they made their limited chances count and buckled down defensively when the Earthquakes threw numbers forward.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The finish to make it 2-1 was smooth, but the entry ball from Zakaria Diallo was quality. The Frenchman's vision and finesse looked every part of an experienced playmaker, not a center back.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Saphir Taider had a sneaky-good 2018 season with seven goals and eight assists. Early into 2019, it looks like the Algerian midfielder is picking up right where he left off. Taider had a goal and an assist, including a game-winner as first-half stoppage time neared.