MLS Snapshot: Montreal Impact 2-1 FC Dallas

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The game in 100 words (or less): Working theory: The Montreal Impact aren’t really all that bad. I know, I know, that sounds a little crazy, but work with me here. They hammered Real Salt Lake, 4-1, just last week. On Saturday night, the Impact, Major League Soccer’s 20th-placed team coming into the night, welcomed FC Dallas, MLS’s 1st-placed team, to Stade Saputo. Not only did the Impact emerge victorious, but they looked pretty good in doing so. The midfield was fluid, the defense unusually sturdy, the attackers ruthless and lethal with their chances, and the goalkeeper heroic at the end. They’re certainly not the worst team in the league (NYCFC and Philadelphia can fight that one out), and they’re going to factor into the East’s playoff race. There, I said it.

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Three moments that mattered

25′ — Piatti converts from the penalty spot — Andres Romero was either going to dribble the ball out of bounds or pass it 15 yards backwards just to retain possession. Moises Hernandez didn’t need to barge into him from behind and send him to the ground. Piatti sent Dan Kennedy one way and calmly rolled the ball the other.

50′ — McInerney finishes some lovely Montreal build-up — Jack McInerney scores goals. The Impact should let him play more often. Just watch this incredibly composed, placed finish from outside the box.

77′ — Hedges hits the rebound home, makes it 2-1 — All Matt Hedges had to do was not blaze the ball over the bar, and he was successful in his modest endeavor. Bush made the initial save, but the defenders standing around the 18-yard box did little to clear the rebound.

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Man of the match: Evan Bush — The 29-year-old goalkeeper made a number of stunning, improbable saves in the game’s final minutes as FCD poured on the pressure and created chance after chance. Bush refused to be beaten a second time.

LINEUPS

Montreal Impact: Bush, Oyongo, Ciman, Soumare, Miller (Toia 36′), Donadel (Alexander 68′), Mallace, Duka, Piatti, Romero (Bernier 83′), McInerney

Goals: Piatti (25′), McInerney (50′)

FC Dallas: Kennedy, Henandez (Harris 80′), Hedges, Zimmerman, Watson, Castillo, Michel (Akindele 53′), Ulloa, Hollingshead (Bekker 73′), Diaz, Perez

Goals: Hedges (77′)