Ilson Jr. got the Union on the board in the 34th minute with a long-range shot. The Union worked the ball into the final attacking third and put significant pressure on the Montreal back line. The ball found its way to Ilson Jr. on the left side of the pitch, and he cut into the middle before unleashing a shot with his right foot. Skidding across the grass, it snuck under the outstretched arms of the Montreal goalkeeper, giving the Union a 1-0 lead.
Andre the Giant
Less than a minute after Ilson Jr.’s goal, Montreal created a scoring chance of its own. Coming down the right side of the pitch, the Impact worked the ball into the box and toward the Union net. Andre Blake came out of the net and stonewalled the shot and stopping Montreal’s chance. And it was just one of many instances Blake made a major save. In the 14th minute, Blake made a diving save to stop a mid-range shot from the Impact. And right before halftime, Montreal made a long range shot just like Ilson Jr.’s goal, but Blake got there in time to make the save.
For the first time this preseason, fans were able to see what the starting backline should look like for the Union, and it let to a scoreless session. Fabinho was ever-present in the Union attack, often connecting with Fabian Herbers and creating multiple crosses into the box. Richie Marquez and Oguchi Onyewu swallowed up the Impact offense, weathering a heavy dose of sustained offense in the first 20 minutes of the game but keeping the scoring chances to a minimum. Rosenberry mixed his time between leading the attack and staying home to defened, and it all added up to 60 minutes of shutout soccer for the defense.
The Union kicked a corner from the left side in the 82nd minute, option to go short to Brian Carroll. Carroll, from the top of the box, sent a cross far post to Ken Tribbett, who headed back to the near post. Waiting for it was CJ Sapong, who headed the pass into the back of the net to give the Union a 2-1 lead late in the game. It was Sapong’s third overall goal of the preseason and his first of the Suncoast Invitational.