A goal by midfielder Calum Mallace late in the second half lifted the Montreal Impact (6-2-1) to a 1-0 shutout win over D.C. United (2-2-1) on Friday afternoon, in Reserve League action, at Stade Saputo. With the win, the club's fourth in a row, the Impact moves into first place overall in the Reserve League standings with 19 points.
The Impact managed to score the game's only goal in the 87th minute, when forward Andrew Wenger corralled a long ball down the left flank. He played the ball back to U21 player Zakaria Messoudi who was positioned at the left corner of the 18-yard box. The midfielder then laid it off to midfielder Calum Mallace near the half-circle. The Impact's second pick of the 2012 SuperDraft tipped the ball past the sliding defender, before beating D.C. United goalkeeper Joe Willis with a low shot from 6 yards out near the right post, going far side.
Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush registered the shutout, a second in a row and third this season in Reserve League action. Bush made a key save in the 16th minute to preserve the clean sheet when forward Long Tan broke in alone on goal. Bush charged off of his line and slid to stop the attempt with his legs near the 18-yard box.
"The guys put in a good performance," said Impact assistant coach Mike Sorber. "It felt like a regular season game as both teams played tough and both sides had some good players on the field. We played a full 90 minutes and had a lot of good chances, but in hard games, this is how it goes. We were rewarded with a good 1-0 victory."
"It was high tempo game and it was hot out there," said Mallace. "We weren't sharp enough in the first half, but in the second half we were better and we were able to finish it off. Now we have a chance to win the league, but we have to win our last game next week versus D.C. United on the road."
Midfielder Josh Gardner, dribbling the ball down the left flank in the 25th minute, fired a low, left-footed shot from just outside the box going far post, forcing the United keeper to make a good save, diving to his left.
A give and go play between midfielders Sinisa Ubiparipovic and Sanna Nyassi put the Gambian through deep into the right side of the box in the 40th minute. Nyassi played the ball back to Gardner who was posted near the 18-yard line, but his low shot was blocked by United defender Ethan White near the goal line.
Defender Hassoun Camara intercepted a pass near midfield in the 60th minute. The Frenchman dribbled down the right flank, and fired a hard shot low to the far post that went just wide.
Ubiparipovic played a chip ball over the D.C United defenders to Wenger in the 80th minute, who shielded the ball in the box before laying it off to Messoudi near the top of the penalty area. Messoudi hammered a low shot, far post that was stopped by Willis, diving to his right.
The Impact will conclude its Reserve League season on September 11 in Washington against D.C. United at the DCU Training Field, at 11am (ET). With a win, the Impact has a chance to win the Reserve League championship.
MTL: GK - Evan Bush; D – Hassoun Camara, Nelson Rivas (Karl W. Ouimette 45'), Zarek Valentin, Dennis Iapichino (Maxim Tissot* 71') M - Calum Mallace, Wandrille Lefevre* (Zakaria Messoudi* 68'), Josh Gardner, Sanna Nyassi (Evan James 60'), Sinisa Ubiparipovic; F - Andrew Wenger Substitutes Not Used: GK - Greg Sutton; D – Amine Meftouh*
*Impact U21 player
DCU: GK – Joe Willis; D – Robbie Russell (Christian Kershaw* 65'), Mike Chabala, Ethan White, Lars Eckenrode*; M – Branko Boskovic (Andy Najar 45'), Nigel Robinson*, Lewis Neal, Patrick Foss*; F – Maicon Santos (Danny Brundt* 56'), Long Tan
* Academy player
MTL – Mallace (Wenger, Messoudi) 87'
Caution - Chabala 88'