Tue, 29 Sep 2020

Impact look to keep pressure on Whitecaps

Field Level Media
16 Sep 2020, 08:40 GMT+10

The Montreal Impact aim to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps for the third time in less than a month when the teams meet at Vancouver on Wednesday.

The Impact's perfect 2-0-0 record against Vancouver includes a 4-2 road victory on Sunday. After Theo Bair gave the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute, Montreal scored the game's next four goals, all within a 45-minute span.

The Impact improved to 5-4-1 (16 points) with the victory.

"The way we reacted was great," Montreal head coach Thierry Henry said. "We started to play. We started to trust the shape, our structure, and then we scored goals. ... Overall, it's not easy to come here and do what we've done, so we're pretty happy with it."

Tensions were high between the two Canadian rivals on Sunday, as seven bookings (five for Vancouver, two for Montreal) were issued. Whitecaps striker Lucas Cavallini and Impact midfielder Emanuel Maciel each earned red cards and will be suspended for Wednesday's game.

More physical play could be expected with the two teams meeting again just three days later, but Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos doesn't want his players distracted.

"We have to focus only on the three points on Wednesday," Dos Santos said. "To win soccer games, it's the quality you have in your team and the decision-making you take in key moments."

Cavallini's absence could hamper a Vancouver attack that has come to life in two games when he has been paired with Bair up front. Bair's goal on Sunday was the first of the season for the Whitecaps academy product.

Vancouver (3-7-0, 9 points) is in last place in the Western Conference.

The Impact haven't won three consecutive regular-season road games since a 3-0-0 streak that bridged the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

A win on Wednesday clinches first place for the Impact in their mini-tournament with Vancouver and Toronto FC during this phase of the MLS schedule, and also carries international implications.

With a victory, Montreal also would advance to face the Canadian Premier League winner in the Canadian Championship final, with the winner there earning a berth in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League.

--Field Level Media

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