Montreal Impact 1, Chicago Fire 1 – March 17, 2012 at Olympic Stadium
As disappointing as it was to have to play in another high-profile “first-type” of MLS-game to open the season at Montreal last year, there’s no doubt that the Fire and supporters that traveled received an unforgettable MLS atmosphere when the two sides met for the first time last St. Patrick’s Day.
Both teams traded blows in the first half and the Fire showed some impressive signs in the counter but were scoreless at the break. In the 56th minute though, the near 60,000 in Olympic Stadium erupted as Montreal captain Davy Arnaud rose unmarked in the box to head home Sanna Nyassi’s cross from the right giving the Impact their first-ever goal in MLS.
The Fire were impressively undeterred and used a bit of magic from midfield maestro Sebastian Grazzini who served a perfect ball that an out-stretched Dominic Oduro extended enough to push past Impact ‘keeper Donovan Ricketts for the 71st minute equalizer.
Both teams nearly stole the game in stoppage time when Pavel Pardo’s free kick from 25 yards curled just wide right of goal before Josh Gardner’s long-distance blast came back off the right post.
MTL – Davy Arnaud (Sanna Nyassi) 56’
CHI – Dominic Oduro (Sebastian Grazzini) 71’ shyed
CHI – Paolo Tornaghi; Dan Gargan, Jalil Anibaba, Cory Gibbs, Gonzalo Segares (Hunter Jumper 68’); Logan Pause ©, Pavel Pardo, Marco Pappa (Federico Puppo 62’); Sebastian Grazzini (Daniel Paladini 79’); Patrick Nyarko, Dominic Oduro
MTL – Donovan Ricketts; Josh Gardner, Tyson Wahl, Matteo Ferrari, Jeb Brovsky; Justin Mapp (Andrew Wenger 68’), Felipe, Patrice Bernier (Lamar Neagle 82’), Davy Arnaud ©; Sanna Nyassi, Justin Braun (Bernardo Corradi 77’)
Chicago Fire 3, Montreal Impact 1 – September 15, 2012 at Toyota Park
To this point in the season the Fire had comeback to win six times already and they’d look to make it seven after Marco Di Vaio did well to work through Arne Friedrich and Jalil Anibaba to tally in the 20th minute.
Confident and cool with the knowledge they were capable of overturning the deficit, the Fire equalized with Jalil Anibaba’s lumbering cross which Sherjill MacDonald flicked on to the back post in the 34th minute.
On the other side of the break, Alex intercepted a Montreal pass at the back and played quickly for Alvaro Fernandez before the Uruguyan international returned the favor. Alex then unleashed a powerful left footed blast that eluded Montreal ‘keeper Troy Perkins in the 61st minute.
The Fire would put the game away in the 80th minute when Chris Rolfe’s cut back on the right found Fernandez open in the box where he nonchalantly first-timed his effort inside the near post to give the side a 3-1 win.
MTL – Marco Di Vaio (Hassoun Camara) 20’
CHI – Sherjill MacDonald (Jalil Anibaba) 34’
CHI - Alex (Alvaro Fernandez) 61’
CHI – Alvaro Fernandez (Chris Rolfe, Dan Gargan) 80’
CHI – Sean Johnson; Jalil Anibaba, Austin Berry, Arne Friedrich (Dan Gargan 41’), Gonzalo Segares; Patrick Nyarko, Alex, Logan Pause ©, Alvaro Fernandez (Wells Thompson 83’); Chris Rolfe, Sherjill MacDonald (Dominic Oduro 77’)
MTL – Troy Perkins; Hassoun Camara, Nelson Rivas (Justin Mapp 65’), Alessandro Nesta (Jeb Brovsky 81’), Matteo Ferrari, Felipe Martins, Collen Warner (Andrew Wenger 73’), Patrice Barnie, Davy Arnaud ©; Sanna Nyassi, Marco Di Vaio