Home MLS Montreal Impact Impact gets a needed win: Di Vaio’s double dispatches D.C. United

Impact gets a needed win: Di Vaio’s double dispatches D.C. United

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The 21,801 fans at Saputo Stadium arrived wondering which Impact squad was going to turn up to face D.C. United — the one that tore up the league for the first 11 games of the season or the one that just showed up for the last 11 games, winning only one of its last eight as it slid down the MLS Eastern Conference table.

They did not have to wait long for their answer as their team put together an effort that featured solid defence, an active and involved midfield, a brace from their highest-paid player and the expulsion of their gaffer, all in all a pretty good approximation of the time when the Impact had success earlier this season. The result? A 2-1 win for the Impact.

Jumping into action almost from the opening whistle, the Impact had ors chances early and often in the first half, Justin Mapp taking the team’s first shot only seconds after play got underway. Marco Di Vaio combined with Felipe to get the ball to Andres Romero in the third minute but an alert Bill Hamid in the D.C. goal thwarted the attempt, repeating a minute later against another incursion by Di Vaio and Felipe.

Montreal controlled the play for the bulk of the opening 45 minutes — but the visiting side showed something in the middle third before momentum swung back to the Impact. While D.C. held sway, Nick DeLeon and Luis Silva both missed chances at the Montreal goal, the first missing from outside the box and the second failing to put a header behind keeper Troy Perkins.

DeLeon fed Dwayne De Rosario in the 17th, but the Canadian captain of the Red-and-Black shot wide.

Montreal took charge as the final third of the opening period rolled around, adding to its shot total with Mapp heading the ball goalward in the 26th, only to have Hamid thwart his try. Di Vaio had another kick at the can in the 30th, redirecting a Felipe feed but shooting wide.

DCU’s final chances in the opening 45 came in the 34th minute and again in the 37tm, both courtesy of De Rosario who sent Silva’s pass wide on the first opportunity and sailed fellow Canadian Kyle Porter’s service well over the goal and into the crowd.

Di Vaio got his first goal since July 3rd two minutes before the interval. The play, begun by Mapp, saw him centre the ball. Felipe played the dummy, watching as it rolled to the Italian striker who chipped his predatory shot up, over Hamid and into the mesh.

D.C. United offered a stiffer opposition in the second period, showing some determination and occasionally posing a threat to the Montreal defence, De Rosario taking his side’s first shot in the 47th, but was denied by a diving Perkins, and then missing an attempt at redirecting the ball in the 52nd.

Silva’s rising shot 10 minutes later was parried by Perkins and DeLeon put another over the target two minutes later. Porter had his shot bounce off a number of shins before an alert Perkins managed to corral the ball.

With a quarter-hour remaining on the clock, D.C. defender James Riley and Montreal midfielder, Mapp went up for a ball, collided and came down out of bounds and dangerously close to a TV camera and by the time things got sorted out, the D.C. defender had been awarded a yellow card and both coaches — Montreal’s Marco Schallibaum and DCU’s Ben Olsen — had been relieved of their functions for the balance of the game.

Schallibaum, for whom it was a fourth ejection of the season, went without great reaction but Olsen chose to sarcastically wave to the crowd as he headed for the tunnel.

Conor Doyle, who had replaced DeLeon about 10 minutes before, tied the match with his curling shot to the inside of the post, assists going to Silva and midfielder Perry Kitchen, which quieted the Saputo Stadium capacity crowd.

Di Vaio’s second of the game came just two minutes after DCU had evened the score. The former Bologna standout struck with surgical precision from about ten metres out, taking the service provided by Patrice Bernier, who wore the captain’s armband and arcing his shot across the goalmouth and into the mesh, earning the Italian his 12th marker of the year and providing his side with their first win in the past nine matches.

“We needed to win and I’m glad I was able to score. I was lucky because I scored a big goal for three points. It was very important for my confidence and I’m happy for this.” De Vaio offered after the match.

“We know that Marco and Felipe have been going through a bit of a rough spell. We were lucky that Marco made the difference tonight with his two goals. Overall, I think that we played very well,” said Schallibaum. “We applied immense pressure on the sides with Justin (Mapp) and Romero. We were very much at ease both offensively and defensively too. D.C. plays an intelligent game and is a tough team to play.”

He would not offer any comment on his expulsion other than to declare the referee’s decision a little harsh, the reason for his reticence being the size of the fine that could be imposed for candor above and beyond what the league deems necessary.

Brazilian midfielder, Felipe, who underwent abdominal surgery in the off-season, was pleased with his game.

“I’m coming back, becoming the Felipe I was last year. I’m working hard. I’m working hard every day to be the Felipe I was before I know I can do it and be better . When I play well I can help the team,” he said.

“Tonight we did a good job,” he continued. “We got three points – that was the most important thing. If the team keeps doing what we did in the first half today especially, we’ll make the playoffs. Today was a key game because after a long period when we did not win now we got three points and we have to keep playing the same way to make the playoffs.”

The Impact travela to Guatemala City for Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions Leagu match against CD
Heredia , a game that, thanks to the efforts spearheaded by Jeb Brovsky and his nonprofit organization, Peace Pandemic, will be attended by some 400 orphans the defender met while in Guatemala last winter.

The next MLS confrontation is next Saturday against Philadelphia.

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