March 17, 2012; Montreal, QC, CAN; Chicago Fire midfielder Pavel Pardo (17) and Montreal Impact midfielder Felipe Martins (7) battle for the ball during the first half at the Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-US PRESSWIRE.
Chicago Fire 1 - 1 Montreal Impact
Chicago Fire: Paolo Tornaghi; Dan Gargan, Jalil Anibaba, Cory Gibbs, Gonzalo Segares (Hunter Jumper, 68'); Marco Pappa (Federico Puppo, 62'), Pavel Pardo, Logan Pause ©; Sebastian Grazzini (Daniel Paladini, 79'); Dominic Oduro, Patrick Nyarko
Substitutes not used: Jay Nolly, Corben Bone, Rafael Robayo, Orr Barouch
Montreal Impact: Donovan Ricketts; Jeb Brovsky, Mateo Ferrari, Tyson Wahl, Josh Gardner; Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins, Patrice Bernier (Lamar Neagle, 82'), Justin Mapp (Andrew Wenger, 68'); Sanna Nyassi, Justin Braun (Bernardo Corradi, 77')
Substitutes not used: Greg Sutton, Callum Mallace, Shavar Thomas, Collen Warner
Chicago Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas
On the game...
It was an exciting match for the fans. It took us a while to get into the game, but once we did, we moved the ball and played simple, I thought we started creating good opportunities. We didn't have a good start in the second half. But then I think our team started to play together, believing in themselves with discipline. We scored a great goal, and in the end I think the result was fair.
On Oduro's goal...
It was great for him to start off the season with a goal for his confidence. He worked hard for it. But we all worked hard. Even the guys who came off the bench played hard.
Chicago Fire Goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi
On his first game in MLS...
I was really excited to play in front of 50,000 people. It doesn't happen every day. But when the game starts, you think about what you have to do and every think goes well.
On his last save...
I thought Pavel's free kick was the last action of the game. It was at the last second, they tried to push to win the game, but we were lucky and we were good. I saved that shoot...I just did my job.
Chicago Fire Midfielder Logan Pause
On the Montreal home opener...
It's exciting to come and see how much the sport of soccer is growing here and to see that the city of Montreal is really following the team.
On the game...
It was our first game of the year. We wanted to come and get the three points, but we also wanted to execute the game plan and put ourselves in a position to at least get a point. Montreal's got some talented players. It being their home opener with that many fans, we knew that they were going to come on and attack, but I thought we kind of weathered the storm. After giving up a goal, it says a lot about the team and the character of the group that we fought back and were able to get a point.
Impact Head Coach Jesse Marsch
On the game
The challenge of every new team, in the attacking third, is the difficulty to score goals. Trying to move around our ideas and what we wanted our players to do, for the most part, I thought we were fairly threatening tonight and I don't think the Chicago bench was ever sitting down comfortably tonight.
How the team played
There were a lot of good individual performances, but as a team, we had a good night. We got the lead. It would have been good to try and hold on to it a little longer and test them to try and get the second. Aside from the goal, the Fire really didn't have too much offensively, and that's a little frustrating, but it's a step in the right direction.
On the crowd
The crowd was great tonight. The men really enjoyed playing in front of the home crowd and showing them what they are about. A couple of different breaks and maybe we get the three points instead of one.
Impact Captain Davy Arnaud
On the goal...
It was a special feeling a special moment...not only for me, but also for the guys, and for the club. It would have been better if we got the three points.
On the game
It was disappointing to give up the late goal and we don't grab three points. I thought our performance was good and this being our home opener, we wanted to win. I think it was an entertaining game.
Impact Defender Josh Gardner
On the game
Overall I thought the boys played well today and we deserved the three points. The first half we played well, and the second we had some moments, but overall I thought we did enough to win the game.
On the Fire long ball
Any team is good when they are left to go into your end and retrieve their long plays. We knew that about them and we did well to contain that for the most part.
- Dominic Oduro, who tallied 12 goals in 2011, scored his first goal of the 2012 season and 28th all-time.
- 2011 assist leader Patrick Nyarko started the 2012 campaign off on the right foot. The crafty Ghanaian had 10 and 9 assists in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
- In his 12th appearance for the Fire, Sebastian Grazzini continues to contribute. The Fire midfielder has 5 goals and 5 assists since joining the club in late July of 2011.
- Paolo Tornaghi, who returned to Italy to obtain his Visa at the beginning of the week, got the starting nod in goal for the Fire.
- Federico Puppo made his Fire MLS debut as a substitute in the in the 62nd minute.
- Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson was unavailable for selection as he is with the U.S. Men's U-23 National Team in Nashville preparing for CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers.
- Logan Pause appeared in his 228 match as a Fire player.
- MLS SuperDraft selection Hunter Jumper appeared in his first MLS match, coming on for Gonzalo Segares in the 68th minute.
MTL - Davy Arnaud (Sanna Nyassi) 56'
CHI - Dominic Oduro (Sebastian Grazzini, Patrick Nyarko) 71'
CHI - Sebastian Grazzini (caution) 42'
MTL - Lamar Neagle (caution) 84'
CHI - Pavel Pardo (caution) 87'
MTL - Sanna Nyassi (caution) 89'
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistants: Adam Wienckowski, Bill Dittmar
Fourth Official: Geoff Gamble