Lassi Lappalainen sure knows how to make an entrance.
Playing in his first MLS game just two days after being acquired, the Finnish winger scored goals early in both halves to lead the Montreal Impact to a 4-0 victory over the first-place Philadelphia Union on Saturday at Stade Saputo.
Orji Okwonkwo also had a brace for the Impact, who snapped a four-game league losing streak in style.
Lappalainen opened the scoring in the fourth minute, getting behind Union defender Ray Gaddis and onto a great ball played by Zachary Brault-Guillard. He completed his brace seconds after halftime after streaking down, undeterred, almost half the length of the field.
Okwonkwo’s second brace of the season started on a 36th-minute blast set up by star playmaker Ignacio Piatti, playing his first league game since May. Okwonkwo put the finishing touches on the rout with another breakaway goal, this one on a length-of-the-field counter in the 66th minute.
- 4' — MTL — Lassi Lappalainen | WATCH
- 36' — MTL — Orji Okwonkwo | WATCH
- 46' — MTL — Lassi Lappalainen | WATCH
- 66' — MTL — Orji Okwonkwo | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Any four-game losing streak is a setback but the Impact are probably feeling pretty good with Piatti returning from injury to help the team win a Canadian Championship series and dominate the first-place team in the East in the span of four days. Meanwhile, even with starting fullback Kai Wagner out due to suspension, dropping two straight 4-0 decisions on the road is a troubling sign for Philly.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Never mind the shoddy Union defending. Montreal’s second goal showcased great teamwork and a powerful finish — and laid the groundwork for the rout.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: With a nod to Okwonkwo, another player on loan from Bologna, this was Lassi Lappalainen’s night.