Piatti’s late goal lifts Montreal Impact over Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1

MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact didn’t let a late goal affect the rest of their game.

After Vancouver tied the game from the penalty spot with 10 minutes on the clock, Montreal responded with a goal of its own and held on for a 2-1 victory over the visiting Whitecaps in MLS action on Wednesday.

Ignacio Piatti scored in the 83rd minute — just three minutes after Vancouver tied the game — to extend Montreal’s home win streak to three games, its first since August 2012.

“You gain a lot of momentum in the locker-room and you have good feelings after you come back and get the win in the last 10 minutes,” said Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush. “We have confidence in the guys up top to bring us back in games.

“We always say that if you can get the second goal, you have a chance to win the game.”

Down 1-0, Vancouver’s Pedro Morales scored from the penalty spot in the 80th minute, six minutes after coming into the match as a substitute.

Jordan Harvey earned the penalty for Vancouver after midfielder Andres Romero took him down on the edge of the box.

With time winding down, it looked like the teams would share the spoils. That’s when Romero spotted Piatti’s run in the box, and the Argentine made no mistake with a strike into the corner of the net for his team-leading third goal of the season.

The Whitecaps (7-6-2) have now lost three of their last four MLS games.

“We’re very disappointed we didn’t get anything out of the game because we had the clearer chances, the better chances,” said Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson. “We let them off the hook. We deserved to be level.

“But I can’t fault the group or their work ethic.”

Robinson sat several key players with an eye on this Saturday’s Western Conference clash with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Leading scorer Octavio Rivero and midfielders Gershon Koffie and Morales started on the bench.

Montreal (3-4-2) took advantage of the depleted lineup quickly in the first half, scoring 14 minutes into the match.

When a failed clearance by defender Diego Rodriguez fell perfectly for Laurent Ciman, the Belgian volleyed the ball off the crossbar. Jack McInerney buried the rebound from 12 yards out.

“Seeing the ball would have made it easier to save,” said Ousted, who dove to the ground after Ciman’s initial strike. “I had no idea where it went. I didn’t see how it hit the bar. My first reaction was to locate it in the air, but it was past me by then.”

The goal was Montreal’s first versus Vancouver in four MLS meetings.

The Whitecaps came close to equalizing before halftime. Nicolas Mezquida’s strike deflected off McInerney’s head and wide in the 45th minute before Darren Mattocks rattled the post in first-half stoppage time.

Vancouver continued putting pressure on Montreal after the restart, but the visiting team never really challenged Bush until Morales converted in the 80th.

“We made a change, we had to push the game and we found a way to get the result,” said head coach Frank Klopas of his team’s response to the tying goal. “We found a way to create opportunities to get the win.

“A tie would have been like a loss to us.”

Piatti almost doubled the Impact’s lead in stoppage time, but Ousted snagged his chipped shot on the goal line.

Notes: The Impact play five more MLS matches in the next 23 days. … Vancouver is 2-1-1 all-time versus the Impact in league play. … Captain Patrice Bernier made his second start of the season for Montreal.

Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press

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