Bernier sets up three goals as Impact beat Sounders 4-1 at re-vamped stadium | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Bernier sets up three goals as Impact beat Sounders 4-1 at re-vamped stadium

Montreal Impact's Felipe Martins, left, tackles Seattle Sounders' Zach Scott during first half MLS soccer action in Montreal, Saturday, June 16, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL - Felipe Martin, Justin Mapp, Andrew Wenger and Lamar Neagle scored as the Montreal Impact opened the revamped and expanded Saputo Stadium with a 4-1 MLS victory over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night.

Patrice Bernier assisted on three Impact goals before a boisterous crowd that was short of a sellout at about 17,000. Montreal (4-7-3) ended a two-game losing streak.

Eddie Johnson scored for the Sounders (7-4-3), who were reduced to 10 men in the 57th minute when Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was sent off for a nasty tackle on Collen Warner.

Seattle is winless in its last five (0-3-2).

It took only 18 minutes for the Impact's first goal at their new-look home.

Bernier made a quick move at the right side of the area and slipped the ball to Martins at the top of the box to curl a shot inside the far post.

Momentum switched in the 30th minute when Montreal centre back Matteo Ferrari limped off with a right thigh problem after going up for a ball with goalkeeper Bryan Meredith. Johnson headed a cross over the net and had a good chance off a corner, while Brad Evans fired a shot from near the penalty spot that Donovan Ricketts gathered in.

The stands erupted again six minutes into the second half when Mapp took a long pass on the left side from Bernier and cut most of the way across the front of the penalty area before firing a low shot against the flow inside the left post.

Only seven minutes later, Bernier picked off a Seattle clearing attempt and slipped a pass to Wenger to score from the right side. Bernier, a Brossard, Que., native, got an ovation when he was substituted by Bernardo Corradi with 15 minutes left to play.

The Sounders got one back when Fredy Montero sent Johnson in alone to chip a ball over Ricketts in the 62nd minute.

Neagle, a former Sounder, replaced Mapp in the 62nd minute and did some tenacious work to get through the defence inside the area and score his first of the year.

The expansion Impact played their first five MLS games next door at Olympic Stadium as work was completed on their grass field home park.

The expanded stadium looked sharp with its blue seats against a white background, with an overhang covering nearly 7,000 seats. It was boosted from the 13,034 it was first built with in 2008 to what will be 20,341 when one small section at the top of the east end is completed later this year.

Notes: MLS commissioner Don Garber called the revamped stadium "spectacular," and wasn't put off at the non-sellout. "We knew it would be a soft opening. The stadium's not complete. We know the fan base it here. Look at the opening and the L.A. game (average 60,000 at the Big O)." . . New designated player Marco Di Vaio, who can't play until June 27 against Toronto, watched in a box with Garber and Impact president Joey Saputo.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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