Dzemaili, Impact down Philadelphia 2-1

MONTREAL — Blerim Dzemaili scored in the 51st minute as the Montreal Impact came away with a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night.

Regular Impact substitute Michael Salazar scored in his second start of the season as the home side leapfrogged the visitors in the Major League Soccer standings.

The Impact (6-6-6), who have yet to lose back-to-back games in MLS this season, climbed to eighth in the Eastern Conference while the Union (6-8-5) fell to ninth.

Midfielder Fafa Picault scored the only goal for Philadelphia, which lost for the first time in four games and remain winless on the road in MLS since the month of May (0-3-1).

With the score tied 1-1 in the second half, Dzemaili put Montreal back in front after deking out Union defender Giliano Wijnaldum on the edge of the box. The move put Dzemaili all alone on goal, and the Swiss international made no mistake from in close.

The Impact made a bad habit of squandering leads and giving up late goals in the first half of their season, but they held on tight for all three points against the Union.

Philadelphia looked to have scored the equalizer in the 86th minute but Roland Alberg’s pretty volley was called back for offside.

Salazar scored his second goal in as many games to give the Impact a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.

Fancy footwork by defender Chris Duvall near the sideline helped open up a crossing lane. The defender then sent a right-footed cross into the box and Salazar fired a header past the outstretched John McCarthy.

The 24-year-old Salazar was making just his second start of the season, as Impact coach Mauro Biello opted to start him on the right wing instead of Dominic Oduro.

Duvall was also responsible for the game’s second goal, but for all the wrong reasons. Duvall’s awful giveaway deep in his own half led directly to Philadelphia’s equalizer two minutes before halftime.

With little pressure on him, and at the behest of teammate Laurent Ciman, Duvall passed the ball back to goalkeeper Evan Bush. Midfielder Picault easily read the play, intercepted the pass and beat Bush between the legs for his fifth goal of the year.

Montreal was without Ignacio Piatti (adductor injury), captain Patrice Bernier (Gold Cup) and Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Gold Cup).

Philadelphia also had two players on international duty at the Gold Cup: Andre Blake (Jamaica) and Chris Pontius (United States).

Notes: The game was delayed 15 minutes due to torrential rain. … There were 16,660 fans in attendance at Saputo Stadium. … Montreal plays again on Saturday against FC Dallas.


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