PORTLAND, Oregon – A spectacular overhead volley by defender Hassoun Camara and an insurance marker by Felipe was enough to lift the Impact to a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers on Saturday, at JELD-WEN Field, in Portland. With its second consecutive victory on away from Stade Saputo, the Impact has managed to equal its win total on the road from all of last season and is 2-0 in 2013.
The Impact took the lead 30 minutes into the first half with a highlight reel goal by defender Hassoun Camara for his first of the season. Following a ball that was played into the box, fellow back liner Matteo Ferrari managed to beat his marker near the half circle with an outstretched foot, flicking the ball over towards Camara five yards to his right. The Frenchmen’s overhead volley with his back towards goal drifted passed Timbers’ goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to his right.
Then in the second half, Brazilian midfielder Felipe doubled his team’s lead in the 60th minute. After winning a ball near the centre circle, 2012 Team MVP Patrice Bernier played a long through ball to substitute Andres Romero, making his Impact debut. Romero chased the ball all the way to the goal line down the right flank, playing a back pass towards the six yard box where Felipe beat Ricketts short side, to his left.
Portland got one back in the 80th minute when midfielder Ben Zemanski played a long cross to the second post from deep down the right flank that found forward Ryan Johnson, sliding to beat Perkins from just inside the six yard box.
“We didn’t come in here and steal the three points tonight,” said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. “We were solid defensively and had a lot of help from our midfield. It was a difficult and tight game, but we responded well.”
“We return home with two wins on the road,” said Bernier. “Winning away takes a lot of character. We have continued to progress defensively. We haven’t given up a goal from the middle, so that’s another positive for us.”
“I think this team believes that we have a team to get results on the road,” noted captain Davy Arnaud. “We created some really good scoring chances and we played a good team game tonight.”
After holding off pressure from Portland early on, Andrea Pisanu played a quick throw in down the right flank to forward Marco Di Vaio in the 8th minute. Di Vaio then played a short, lateral ball inside to Felipe from near the right corner of the box, but the Brazilian’s low, one-timer rolled just wide of the far post.
Three minutes later, Pisanu found a ball 10 yards from the corner flag that he chipped over the Timbers defenders towards Di Vaio who was all alone near the penalty spot. The Impact’s DP did well to get a head on it, but Timbers’ keeper Donovan Ricketts made an acrobatic save, diving to his left.
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who was playing his former team, made a key stop in the 27th minute when he slid to block Johnson’s shot after he came in alone on goal. Ten minutes later, he blocked a hard blast from 25 yards out by Darlington Nagbe. Again in the 66th minute, he frustrated Andrew Baptiste from in close.
Second half sub Collen Warner came close in the 87th minute following a scramble in the box, but Ricketts managed to get a hand on the ball despite being out of position.
The team heads back to Montreal to host Toronto FC in its home opener at Olympic Stadium – #16mars16h – on Saturday, March 16 at 4pm (ET).
MTL – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Hassoun Camara; M- Patrice Bernier, Sanna Nyassi, Felipe (Collen Warner 86′), Davy Arnaud, Andrea Pisanu (Andrés Romero 59′); F-Marco Di Vaio (Andrew Wenger 75′)
Unused subs: GK-Evan Bush; D-Dennis Iapichino; M- Justin Mapp, Calum Mallace
POR – GK-Donovan Ricketts; D- Michael Harrington (Rodney Wallace 86′), Andrew Baptiste, Ryan Miller (Jose Valencia 68′), Mikael Silvestre; M-Diego Valeri, Diego Chara, Will Johnson; F-Ryan Johnson, Kalif Alhassan (Ben Zemanski 46′), Darlington Nagbe
Unused subs: GK-Jake Gleeson; D-Dylan Tucker-Gangnes; M-Jack Jewsbury, Michael Nanchoff
MTL – Camara 30′
MTL – Felipe (Romero, Bernier) 60′
POR – R. Johnson (Zemanski) 80′
POR – Nagbe 30′
MTL – Felipe 73′