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Rare first-half goal lifts Montreal Impact over Real Salt Lake

Omar Browne’s goal in first-half stoppage time was the spark needed to lift the Impact over RSL

MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact started their three-game home stint on the right foot with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake Wednesday night at Stade Saputo.

The hosts were aggressive from the start with scoring chances in the very first minute. The angst paid off since the Impact scored their first goal inside the first half since March 16. In stoppage time, Shamit Shome along the right flank, made a cutback pass for Omar Browne, who beat Nick Rimando towards the far post.

That play had been in the back of the Impact players’ heads. Assistant coach Wilfried Nancy had pulled both Shome and Ken Krolicki to the side the day before the game and told them: “Guys, look for the cutback because the way they defend is to always drop deep so look for the cutback.”

“That’s what I was thinking,” said Shome. “It’s good to see that what we talk about in training pay off.”

For Shome, getting a goal inside the first 45 minutes for the first time in 13 games is a mental win in itself. 

“We created a lot of chances in the first half and to finally get a goal pay off is great,” Shome said. “Hopefully we can keep doing that because if we can get a goal early on in the first half — the way we are defensively — we can find success.”

A penalty in the 68th minute converted by Saphir Taider was enough to seal the win. This was only the second win for the Impact in May, along with a 2-1 result over the New York Red Bulls. RSL got themselves on the scoresheet thanks to a goal by Sam Johnson in the 84th minute, but the visitors weren’t able to find an equalizer.

May 29, 2019; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; View of the Stade Saputo main entrance as seen before the game of Montreal Impact against Real Salt Lake. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Bush, who was fighting a cold during the game, said the 4-2 loss to LAFC was a barometer. He thought that the Impact can bring LAFC’s level to their three-game home stint and the rest of the season.

“LAFC, I saw Marc Dos Santos say that a couple of weeks ago, they’re the standard in this league,” Bush said. “We saw the standard last week and we brought that into tonight.”

“We know where the level needs to be, it might not always be that way but we’re certainly trying to keep the level at a high level and take advantage of these home games,” Bush added.

The Impact remain unbeaten at home all-time against RSL with Montreal outscoring them, 12-5, across four games. 

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