May 5, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New England Revolution defender Gabriel Somi (91) plays the ball and Montreal Impact forward Anthony Jackson (11) defends during the first half at Stade Saputo. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
MONTREAL — Remi Garde criticized Anthony Jackson-Hamel’s training habits earlier this week. But the forward delivered on game day, scoring the first two goals for the Montreal Impact in a 4-2 win over the New England Revolution Saturday at Stade Saputo.
Raheem Edwards, who has also struggled for playing time and was singled out by Garde for having attitude issues, scored the third goal for the Impact. Ignacio Piatti put in another dominant performance for the home side with three assists and the fourth goal. Late in the second half, Wilfried Zahibo scored the consolation goals for the visitors, tallying twice off set pieces.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Impact and their record improved to 3-6-0.
In a difficult period for the club, Garde said he was happy about the way Jackson-Hamel — who goes by simply Jackson — and the team were able to bounce back. But, he wants them to keep it going.
“Jackson gave a good response, it was the beginning of a response,” Garde said after the game. “It was superb what we did, but we don’t have much time to enjoy it because we’re back on the field in Chicago (Wednesday) and we’re back here against Philadelphia on Saturday. But it’s the beginning of a good response, we have to maintain this, him (Jackson) and the whole team”.
This was the second meeting between the two teams this year. The Revolution got the better of the Impact in the first meeting, winning 4-0 at Gillette Stadium, a game where the Impact played most of the game down a man.
Midfielder Samuel Piette said that first defeat brought extra motivation.
“That’s what we said before the game: we lost 4-0 over there and we wanted to have revenge today,” Piette said. “We started really well, unfortunately we conceded two goals, we have to adjust some situations on set pieces, but we’re happy with the win”.
The first half was a mostly even contest. The Revolution, a very physical team, were aggressive in their tactical approach, keeping a very high line, and the Impact often struggled to play out of their end.
For all of the Revolution’s territorial superiority, however, they couldn’t capitalize. In the 33rd minute, Juan Agudelo had to come off with a hamstring injury, which took away much of their attacking thrust.
In the dying seconds of the first half, the Impact found the breakthrough. This time, the Revolution were made to pay for their risky high line. Piatti threaded a pass through the defense, sending Jackson alone on a breakaway. The 24-year-old had plenty of time to pick his spot, but didn’t hit the ball very well. The shot went low and central. Goalkeeper Matt Turner got a piece, but couldn’t keep it out.
In the second half, the Revolution’s game plan didn’t change, except that they started to take more risks. And the Impact were now finding more space on the counterattack.
Four minutes after the break, Jackson nearly scored again from a solo effort. He cut inside past one defender and sent a curling effort off the inside of the post.
After evading a couple defenders, Piatti set up Jackson in the 52nd minute with a pass across the box. Jackson just needed to finish from close range.
Lacking in match fitness, Jackson had to come off in the 52nd minute, and he did so to a standing ovation from the home crowd. After the game, however, the Quebec City native tried to divert much of the attention.
“The whole team was hyped for that game, we all came to fight,” Jackson said. “It was not about me getting the start, but about the team getting the win”.
At this point, the Impact tasted blood and the floodgates opened. Two other goals came in within minutes of each other, all very similar to the ones already scored.
In the 65th minute, Piatti, attracting many defenders, found a wide open Edwards and the youngster buried the ball into the bottom left corner past Turner.
Three minutes later, midfielder Samuel Piette delivered a long pass to an open Piatti and the Argentine finished with a low strike.
Coming into the game with the worst defensive record in the league, a negative for the Impact was they couldn’t keep New England from scoring. In the late stages, Wilfried Zahibo scored twice, finishing in the box off set pieces, but it was too little, too late for the visitors.