MONTREAL – A penalty-kick goal by forward Bernardo Corradi and a strike from substitute Sinisa Ubiparipovic late in the second half helped the Montreal Impact to a 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers in front of 19,223 at Olympic Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
After a scoreless first half, the two sides exchanged chances through the early stages of the second half. But the turning point in the match came in the 76th minute, when the Impact broke the stalemate with a penalty kick by Corradi following a handball call inside the box. Ubiparipovic scored six minutes from time to seal the Impact’s 2-0 victory.
Corradi scored his third goal in as many games and recorded an assist, goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made four saves to pick up his first shutout of the season and Ubiparipovic recorded his second MLS goal to help the Impact (2-5-2, 8pts) to their second win of the season and remain unbeaten at home (2-0-1).
Midfielder Darlington Nagbe put both of his shots on goal, midfielder Jack Jewsbury took two shots of his own and goalkeeper Troy Perkins recorded two saves for the Timbers (2-5-1, 7pts). The Timbers have lost five of their last six matches.
Portland was forced to make two substitutions during the match due injuries. Perkins left the match in the 67th minute due to facial lacerations (nose) he sustained while challenging Impact midfielder Sanna Nyassi on a run at the top of the penalty area. In the first half, defender Steve Purdy exited in the 20th minute due to a concussion he suffered during a collision with Montreal’s Justin Mapp while going for a ball in the air.
Backup Timbers goalkeeper Joe Bendik, making his MLS debut, was tested soon after entering the match for Perkins. During a spell of pressure by the Impact, midfielder Collen Warner had a shot from eight yards out blocked by Timbers defender Steven Smith, but the ball deflected off Smith’s leg and then the underside of his arm. Referee Jorge Gonzalez called Smith for the handball and awarded Montreal a penalty kick. Corradi converted the penalty kick in the 76th minute to put lift the Impact to a 1-0 lead.
Corradi initiated the play that led to Montreal’s second goal of the contest in the 84th minute. He found midfielder Davy Arnaud running down the left side just outside the box. Arnaud sent in a cross just beyond Bendik’s reach to an open Ubiparipovic running at the back post and Ubiparipovic tapped the ball into the back of an open net.
The two clubs exchanged scoring chances throughout the match, combining for 25 shots, nine of which were on goal. Nagbe forced Ricketts into an early save in the eighth minute with a free kick placed on frame. Ricketts made a diving save in the 38th minute on a shot by Jewsbury from the top right corner of the box following build up by Portland. Montreal had an early chance, but Arnaud skied an open shot from the top of the six-yard box over the goal in the 14th minute.
Before leaving the match, Perkins recorded two saves, including a second-half stop on Nyassi in the 62nd minute on a low, well-hit shot at the base of the left post. Nagbe and Jewsbury teamed up on a one-two, which set up Nagbe for a shot on goal near the hour mark. Montreal forward Felipe Martins put a driven shot on the left post in the 71st minute, forcing Bendik to make his first MLS save to keep the match scoreless.
The Timbers return home to play host to the Columbus Crew at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday, May 5; kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific).