ORLANDO, FL – The Montreal Impact were victorious in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic tournament on Saturday evening, beating the Columbus Crew 1-0 (0-0 halftime), in Orlando, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Midfielder Justin Mapp scored the game’s only goal.
“We are very satisfied with the tournament. We finished this game very professionally and we were almost perfect defensively,” said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. “We came away with the trophy and are heading back on a high note.”
“It feels good, even though it’s just preseason, but it’s our last game leading up to the opener next weekend,” said Mapp. “I think we’ve gotten what we wanted out of this trip and it feels good to leave with a good taste in our mouths and confidence going into next week.”
“It’s always fun to win this type of event,” said defender Hassoun Camara. “We got to work on all the stuff that we’ve been practicing during the camp and now we head back ready to work for next Saturday’s game.”
The Montreal Impact opened the scoring in the 54th minute when midfielder Andrea Pisanu played a corner kick towards the penalty spot. A Crew defender cleared the ball out with a header before Justin Mapp, parked near the top of the box, one touched the ball forward before getting off a low shot that hit the post and rolled past the diving goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
The Impact enjoyed much of the possession in the early going of the first half with a number of plays into the 18-yard box, including a cross from the right flank by Pisanu in the 10th minute towards Marco Di Vaio posted nine yards out. The Impact’s DP was brought down in the box, but the referee yelled play on.
In the 17th minute, Crew forward Jairo Arrieta fired a left-footed shot from just outside the box, near the left corner, that was caught by Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
Crew winger Dominic Oduro used a fake in the 48th minute to find space for himself just inside the box, down the right flank, but his shot to the far post went just wide.
Then a minute later, Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier found the ball square to goal just outside the penalty area, but his low shot slid wide of goal.
In the 66th minute, defender Matteo Ferrari used a diving header to clear out pressure from the Crew as a ball was played into the box 12 yards out.
Perkins came up with a big save to preserve the lead in the 84th minute as a free kick was played in to forward Ethan Finlay, whose header was caught by the Impact keeper, diving to his right.
The team returns to Montreal on February 24 for three days of training at the Marie Victorin Sports Complex, before heading to Seattle on February 28 to play its 2013 season opener on March 2 against the Sounders FC at 10:30pm (ET). The game will be broadcast live on TVA Sports.
MTL – G-Troy Perkins; D-Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Hassoun Camara; M- Patrice Bernier, Justin Mapp (Sanna Nyassi 81′), Felipe (Collen Warner 81′), Davy Arnaud (Calum Mallace 81′), Andrea Pisanu (Andrés Romero 71′); A-Marco Di Vaio (Andrew Wenger 76′)
CLB – G-Andy Gruenebaum; D- Josh Williams, Chad Marshall, Glauber, Tyson Wahl; M-Dominic Oduro (Ethan Finlay 65′), Danny O’Rourke (Toni Tchani 46′), Agustin Viana (Matias Sanchez 46′), Eddie Gaven; A-Federico Higuain (Ben Speas 69′), Jairo Arrieta (Ryan Finley 69′)
MTL – Mapp 54′
MTL – Pisanu 16′
CLB – Viana 26′
CLB – Glauber 73′
MTL – Ferrari 90+