MONTREAL — Ignacio Piatti scored twice for the second straight game, and the Montreal Impact beat Real Salt Lake 3-1 on Saturday night for their fourth victory in a row.
Piatti has 14 goals this season, scoring in four consecutive games.
Anthony Jackson-Hamel also scored for Montreal (10-8-6).
“Tonight we kept the same pace even with many changes in the lineup,” Montreal head coach Mauro Biello said. “I keep pushing the players so we become better. I’m proud of my players. They worked hard and they deserve credit. We keep believing and fighting for a playoff spot.”
Luis Silva scored for Real Salt Lake (8-13-5), ending Evan Bush’s shutout streak at 284 minutes. It was the third goal in five games for Silva.
The loss ended a six-game unbeaten streak for RSL.
Following 3-0 victories over Philadelphia and Chicago, the Impact have scored three goals in a franchise-record three consecutive games. Montreal also has won seven of its last eight home games.
“We played a team tonight in Montreal who is firing on all cylinders,” RSL head coach Mike Petke said. “We prepared pretty heavily for them and Piatti still got two goals. He’s a phenomenal player and my hat goes off to him. I think we were sloppy with the ball at times, at times we were good, and we didn’t do a good enough job with the transition game. Overall, we had a ton of chances as well, hit the post, certain opportunities and it just didn’t work so it’s off to Wednesday.”
An early injury to RSL defender Marcelo Silva forced Petke into an early change. The injury happened in the sixth minute. Petke shifted roles on the RSL back line, and the Impact took quick advantage.
“It’s unfortunate to lose Marcelo five minutes in, when him and Justen’s (Glad) partnership has been so great,” Petke said. “It was a tough game for David Horst to come on and get right into the swing of things. It was bad for us that he had to come out of the game.”
Piatti opened the scoring in the 11th minute off a 2-on-1 with Blerim Dzemaili. Piatti struck again in the 29th, just three minutes after Real Salt Lake tied it. Piatti danced his way around defender Tony Beltran’s slide tackle in the box and fired a left-footed shot into the far corner from a difficult angle.
RSL was well aware of Piatti, but couldn’t do much about him in the first half.
“The plan was always to keep him in your sights since he’s a special player,” Glad said of Piatti. “We needed to always have someone aware of where he is to hopefully eliminate the danger a little bit. But you can see he had a little too much freedom tonight.”
Jackson-Hamel scored in the 47th minute for the Impact.
“I came in the locker room and I said what I had to say to get that behind us,” Petke said. “We have a good mentality and we had a good stretch of six games before this and we’re now at home for two in a row. The mentality is, get this out of your mind, take the charter flight, get home, rested and a quick turnaround.”
Real Salt Lake returns home to Rio Tinto Stadium after a two-game Eastern Conference road swing to face the San Jose Earthquakes for the second time in 2017 on Wednesday at 8 p.m.
“Yeah, we created enough chances and I have to give a lot of credit to their keeper as he made pretty key saves for them to keep them in the game,” RSL defender Kyle Beckerman said. “It’s the way it goes sometimes. We’ll keep our heads up as we have a game this Wednesday.”