The Philadelphia Union lead the Montreal Impact 3-1 in one of their better halves in recent memory. Roland Alberg got the Union on the right foot in the fourth minute when CJ Sapong sprung the Dutch midfielder. A nifty move by Alberg made Laurent Ciman slide past him, and Alberg fired it past Evan Bush to give the Union a lead.
The Union had another good run upfield in the seventh minute when Chris Pontius found himself alone in space. His centering pass to CJ Sapong was a bit behind the Union striker, and Montreal was able to clear the ball out.
In the eleventh minute, Domonic Oduro had a nice deflection, however it went well wide of the net. On the return play, Alberg and Alejandro Bedoya played a great give-and-go, however Bedoya’s return seemed to catch Alberg a bit by surprise, and Montreal was able to recover the ball.
The Union were able to remain on the front foot for the majority of the first fifteen minutes. Laurent Ciman was a bit lucky not to receive a card in the 15th for getting a knee up high on CJ Sapong and then grabbing him by the face and throwing him to the ground.
After another foul on CJ Sapong, the Union had a flurry of chances. Jack Elliott had a shot that was stopped by Bush. Sapong put a head on the rebound, however that was blocked too. The ball fell back to Elliott, whose shot whistled just wide of the net.
Elliott sprung Sapong on a great long ball forward. Laurent Ciman did well to mark Sapong and force the corner kick. On the resulting kick, Haris Medunjanin found the ball, crossed it to Chris Pontius, who then headed it back to center where Sapong was able to put it past Bush to make it 2-0 for the good guys.
In the 26th minute Sapong almost scored again when he got on the end of a Richie Marquez header, but his shot went into the side netting.
The game turned pretty physical, with Sapong getting fouled and committing fouls as well Roland Alberg and Ray Gaddis getting knocked down by Montreal players, however referee Nima Saghafi kept his cards in his pocket even when Chris Duvall raked Ilsinho’s leg with his cleats.
In the 37th minute, Ilsinho played a great pass into the box off of a corner kick to Jack Elliott. Elliott was mauled in the box by Domonic Oduro, and Saghafi whistled the penalty. Roland Alberg went to the spot and blasted it at Evan Bush. Bush got his hands on the shot, but deflected it into the net and the Union were up 3-0.
In the 40th minute, Nacho Piatti made a great run on his own into the box and fired it past Andre Blake to get one back for the Impact.
Saghafi finally pulled a card out for Ray Gaddis in the 43rd minute for a foul on the wing that allegedly happened. In stoppage time, Dominic Oduro had a golden opportunity when he found himself in the box with the ball, however he couldn’t get it settled and the ball eventually ran out over the end line. After a full minute of stoppage time, Saghafi blew his whistle to send the teams to the lockers.
Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake; Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Jack Elliott, Ray Gaddis; Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin; Ilson Jr., Roland Alberg, Chris Pontius; CJ Sapong
Montreal Impact: Evan Bush; Ambroise Oyongo, Laurent Ciman, Hassoun Camara, Chris Duvall; Hernan Bernardello, Marco Donadel; Ignacio Piatti, Patrice Bernier, Dominic Oduro; Matteo Mancosu
Scoring: Philadelphia - Roland Alberg (4’, 39’), CJ Sapong (22’); Montreal - Ignacio Piatti (40’)
Disciplinary: Philadelphia - Ray Gaddis (42’); Montreal - None