The game in 100 words (or less): The Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact were easily two of the hottest teams down the stretch in the 2015 season, which made Sunday’s clash between the two sides one of the more anticipated matchups of First Kick 2016. In the end, it was the Impact who came out on top, 3-2, though the scoreline somewhat flatters the home side. Even without Didier Drogba, the Impact proved themselves contenders to be reckoned with — the midfield is as solid as ever, thanks to the steel of Marco Donadel and Eric Alexander, while Ignacio Piatti, Harry Shipp and Lucas Ontivero buzz around the final third mostly free of defensive responsibilities. Should they successful navigate the season’s opening six weeks without Drogba (he’ll not play much early on due to lots of artificial turf), watch out for L’Impact once he returns.
[ MORE: Previewing MLS First Kick 2016 ]
Three moments that mattered
19′ — Piatti skips past everyone to score a wonder goal — Let’s list all of the players Piatti skates past en route to scoring this beautiful opening goal: Kianz Froese, Fraser Aird, Tim Parker and Kendall Waston. Not bad, Nacho, not bad at all. Just go ahead and put this one on repeat for the rest of the day.
42′ — Ousted’s gaffe gifts Oduro his first of the season — David Ousted is generally one of MLS’s very best goalkeepers, but for some odd reason decided to rush 25 yards off his line in an attempt to boot the ball up field with Dominic Oduro bearing down on him. He missed, which…whoops. (Assist: Piatti. Duh.)
88′ — Piatti’s second of the day seals it for Montreal — It took a total of seven touches, including Evan Bush’s throw, for the Impact to go from one penalty area to the other, and for Piatti to bag his second of the day. Oduro is devastating in the open field, and he played a perfect ball across the field, for once.
Man of the match: Ignacio Piatti
Goalscorers: Piatti (19′, 88′), Oduro (42′), Harvey (45′), Waston (93′)