MONTREAL — After being rested in a 2-0 loss to FC Dallas last weekend, Ignacio Piatti scored twice for the Montreal Impact in a 3-0 win over Orlando City on a rainy Wednesday evening at Stade Saputo.
Piatti opened the scoring from the penalty spot early in the first half and scored the Impact’s third goal in second-half stoppage time.
In general, Piatti looked a lot sharper than he had in recent weeks. The Argentine came into the game without having scored in five consecutive outings. That might not sound like much, but it’s an unusually long length of time for the 33-year-old, who’s been prolific for Montreal since joining the club in 2014.
“We were never concerned, but it’s always important for him to score, to get the ball, to get it into the back of the net,” Lovitz said. “Coming back, he was great for us tonight, and we expect that from him and he expects that from himself, so a lot of pressure off him for sure.”
Piatti’s goal drought took a significant toll on the Impact’s offensive output. In the six games prior to Wednesday’s encounter, the Impact had only scored once. Piatti, who now has seven goals and six assists, has contributed to 13 of the team’s 18 goals so far this season.
Impact coach Rémi Garde said Piatti benefited from having the weekend off.
“He struggled a little bit physically for a few games, that’s why I took the decision not to play him last game because he also had some muscle pain, but when you don’t play you gain a little bit of freshness,” Garde said. “We saw today, not the best of Nacho (Piatti), but we saw again when Nacho is in the team the team is different”.
The win puts the Impact just four points behind Orlando, who occupy the sixth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. They’ll meet again in Orlando on June 23 after a short World Cup break.