Following an impressive victory at Vancouver over the weekend, the Montreal Impact won’t have to wait long for a chance to repeat that accomplishment against one of their national rivals when they visit the Whitecaps again on Wednesday night.
After Vancouver went up 1-0 on Theo Bair’s goal in the seventh minute Sunday, Montreal (5-4-1) roared back. Orji Okwonkwo scored eight minutes later to level the match and Saphir Taider, who also recorded two assists, put the Impact ahead for good via a penalty kick right before halftime. Samuel Piette made it 3-1 in the 51st minute and assisted on Romell Quioto’s goal on the hour to help send the visitors to a 4-2 triumph.
Since the resumption of the regular season, Montreal has gone 3-2-0 while playing all of its matches against Canadian rivals Vancouver and Toronto FC. Sunday’s result also left the Impact one win away from advancing to the Canadian Championship final.
“We reacted great,” Impact coach Thierry Henry told the official website of MLS. “After a tough start, we started to apply our structure, but more importantly, we scored goals. It isn’t easy to come (to Vancouver) and do what we’ve done. So, we’re happy with it. We scored four away goals, but it will be a different game on Wednesday.”
Prior to Sunday’s offensive breakout, Montreal had totaled two goals while losing two of three following a 2-0 home win over Vancouver last month. However, the club’s fortunes turned over the weekend and any confidence earned could prove beneficial on this quick turnaround.
The Whitecaps (3-7-0), meanwhile, are 1-4-0 against Montreal and Toronto during the return to MLS regular-season action. The fact Vancouver has totaled five goals in two games after going the previous three without one is obviously positive, but it’s conceded eight scores over the last three contests – six of which were recorded by Montreal.
“There are a lot of factors,” midfielder Andy Rose told the Whitecaps’ official website about his team’s defensive struggles. “We certainly don’t want to be a club that makes excuses. I think it’s all connected in how we play.”
Quioto and Taider each have four of Montreal’s 16 official goals in 2020. Two of Quioto’s goals have come versus Vancouver, while Taider’s recorded one goal with three assists against the Whitecaps this year.
Bair’s goal Sunday was his first of the season, and just the third of his MLS career.