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Saphir Taider brace rallies Montreal Impact over Seattle Sounders

Taider used an African Cup of Nations snub by Algeria as motivation for a two-goal performance

Jun 5, 2019; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Impact midfielder Saphir Taider (8) celebrates with midfielder Harry Novillo (7) after scoring a goal against the Seattle Sounders during the first half at Stade Saputo. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

MONTREAL — Saphir Taider helped a heavily depleted Montreal Impact to a 2-1 comeback win over the Seattle Sounders Wednesday at Stade Saputo days after being snubbed by the Algerian national team.

Taider, who won’t travel to the African Cup of Nations, told his teammates in the locker room before the game that they absolutely needed a win. Ninety minutes later, Taider scored both goals to send his team into the June break with one last win.

“What I take away really is the win, we really needed these three points,” Taider said. “Now we can rest up and leave with our minds at ease.”

The international break heavily affected both teams. Montreal (8-7-3, 27 points) didn’t have a full bench to rely on and had to sign Luca Ricci on a four-day emergency contract. Nevertheless, the bleu-blanc-noir managed to pull off the comeback.

The Sounders (7-4-5, 26 points),  didn’t have a shot until they won a penalty in the 64th minute. Victor Cabrera took down former Impact player Harry Shipp inside the box. Victor Rodriguez converted with a shot that beat Evan Bush to the upper right corner.

Bush was doubtful that his team could pull off a comeback after conceding the penalty. However, the Impact’s momentum flipped after winning a penalty of their own 10 minutes later. Taider got his first goal of the night, tying the game with 15 minutes to go.

Jun 5, 2019; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Olympic stadium as seen near stade Saputo before the game of Montreal Impact against Seattle Sounders. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

“It was one of those special nights,” Bush said. “I felt in the last 15 minutes that our energy was fantastic and we were playing together as a team and we were defending the right way and attacking the right way.”

Four minutes after equalizing, Taider caught a missed shot from Omar Browne and redirected it past Stefan Frei. After making sure that the offside flag stayed down, Taider erupted and headed to the corner flag to celebrate.

“I thought it was a shot because the ball comes at me really fast, I think he wanted to shoot on me,” Taider said of Browne. “But at the end of the day it goes in so good for us.”

Garde: Team win before needed break

For Garde, this was very much a team win despite Taider’s solo effort on the night. Garde wanted to give credit to players like Shamit Shome, Ken Krolicki and Michael Azira.

“Without these kinds of players that are fully committed to the team, football is not the same,” Garde said.

With six points out of a possible nine in their three-game homestand, Bush felt that the Impact could rest easy.

“If we can harness that now and go into the second half of the season after a much needed break, I think that we’ll be in a good spot,” Bush said. “Especially when we get all of those guys back from injury.”

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