MONTREAL – Montreal got goals from Tony Donatelli and Roberto Brown in the first half as the Impact held on for a 2-1 win over the Puerto Rico Islanders in the first leg of their United Soccer Leagues semifinal Thursday.
Tony Donatelli got things started for Montreal in the eighth minute on a free kick, beating Islanders goalkeeper Bill Gaudette from 25 yards out.
Roberto Brown doubled the lead for the Impact in the 20th minute, converting a header off a feed from Peter Byers.
The Islanders narrowed the lead to 2-1 in the 31st minute on a 35-yard shot from midfielder Jonathan Steele that beat Montreal goalkeeper Matt Jordan.
The Islanders pressed for the tie in the second half, but were unable to find the back of the net a second time.
“We wanted to head to Puerto Rico with a win and that’s what we did tonight,” said Montreal assistant coach Andrea Di Pietrantonio, who replaced of Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos for the game.
Dos Santos was serving an automatic one-match suspension following his ejection in the Impact’s last game against Charleston.
“We were expecting a very physical match this evening and we responded well. The rhythm changed in the second half. They started putting more pressure on us, but we managed to contain them.”
The win was the Impact’s third consecutive in the playoffs and ended a five-match winless streak against the Caribbean club.
The second leg of semifinal goes Sunday in Puerto Rico.