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Three takeaways from Montreal Impact’s 1-0 win over Chicago Fire

The quality of the pitch at Stade Saputo has become a concern.

Apr 28, 2019; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Impact midfielder Michael Azira (32) kicks the ball next to Chicago Fire midfielder Djordje Mihailovic (14) during the first half at Stade Saputo. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact notched their second straight home win thanks to new signing Omar Browne. The Panamanian’s lone goal was enough to seal a 1-0 victory against the Chicago Fire Sunday afternoon. 

Here are three thoughts on the win:

Leaving it late

Of the 12 goals the Impact scored this season, six have come in the last 15 minutes of play.

“We know that our objective at every game is to go back to the locker room with a 0-0 or at least not to concede a goal,” said Samuel Piette. “We know that with the offensive quality we have up top we can create chances and score goals.”

Piette added that the team took note of the games against New England and Columbus, where the score was 0-0 at halftime. Both games ended in an Impact win with late goals.

“We don’t want to be on panic mode at the same time to score in the first five minutes,” Piette said. “The game is long and we know that we will create chances like we did [Sunday]. It’s about being patient and wait for our chances.”

Securing home wins

The Impact grabbed all six points available to them from games at home this season. Given how merciless away games are in MLS, the team rejoiced in back-to-back wins at Stade Saputo. 

“I remember these types of games last year at the first half of the season that we lost,” Impact coach Remi Garde said on Sunday. “The team was very stretched, there were spaces, we weren’t defending well, we weren’t attacking well. Now today we didn’t do everything well, but the opponent didn’t put us in great difficulty.” 

Garde added that he noticed more MLS teams won on the road this season, meaning home wins could be more important than ever. 

“I’ll put a dent in this because we proved that we could win on the road, I find that there are a little more road wins this year,” Garde said. “Maybe there is a new mindset coming into the league, but it’s important to win your games at home.”  

Pitch struggles at Stade Saputo

For the second straight home game Garde mentioned that the pitch quality was lacking and affected the game. 

On two occasions in Sunday’s post-game press conference Garde spoke about the quality of his patchy home field as a result of cool early-spring weather in Montreal. He mentioned that the grass affected his team’s style of play and the match as a whole. 

“The ball doesn’t pick up speed when it touches the ground. To the contrary, it bounces even more so you need to touch it twice or three times before making a pass,” Garde said. “It gives a game like we saw, it was poor technically.”

The Impact will be stepping on the Stade Sputo pitch once again this Saturday as they will take on NYCFC at 1 p.m.




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