Urruti scores winner as Impact open season with 2-1 win over Revolution

Montreal Impact's Maximiliano Urruti, left, breaks away from New England Revolution's Henry Kessler during first half MLS soccer action in Montreal, Saturday, February 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Maximiliano Urruti scored from distance in the 80th minute as the Montreal Impact came from behind to defeat the New England Revolution 2-1 in their MLS season opener on Saturday afternoon.

Romell Quioto scored in the first half for the Impact (1-0-0) and Clement Diop made five saves in Thierry Henry's MLS coaching debut.

2020 in strong style ������#MLSisBack #IMFC pic.twitter.com/ZBOlQR1uk9

— Impact de Montréal (@impactmontreal) February 29, 2020

Teal Bunbury scored for the Revolution (0-1-0), who have not won a season opener since 2013. Goalkeeper Matt Turner allowed two goals on three shots.

New England appeared to have taken a 2-1 lead in the 73rd minute when substitute Wilfried Zahibo put the ball past Diop following a free kick. But referee Chris Penso went to the video replay and determined Zahibo was offside.

The Impact benefited from that reversal of fortune seven minutes later when a streaking Urruti caught Turner off his line and lobbed the ball over him from the edge of the penalty area.

Urruti is off to a good start after netting four goals in 31 games last year.

New England's Tajon Buchanan headed a ball off the post in the 87th minute as Montreal held on to improve to 5-1-3 in home openers.

First-year coach Henry gave Diop the start between the uprights over Evan Bush, possibly signalling a new era in Montreal. Bush had been the team's regular starter since 2014.

Despite playing two CONCACAF Champions League matches to start the year, the Impact looked out of synch to begin their ninth MLS campaign. Their first touches were heavy, through balls did not connect and passes were errant.

The miscommunication was evident when the Revs scored in the 13th minute off a corner taken short. Christian Penilla sent a cross into the box and Bunbury was left completely unmarked -- poor coverage by Luis Binks -- for the perfect volley.

The Impact also struggled on set pieces last season.

With long-term injuries to captain Jukka Raitala (fibula) and Rudy Camacho (knee), central defenders Binks and Joel Waterman made their first MLS starts.

Things picked up offensively for Montreal and Waterman played a key role in the 37th-minute equalizer when he headed Urruti's corner across the face of goal to Quioto, whose header flew past a diving Turner.

Zachary Brault-Guillard was an important piece of Montreal's offensive strategy. The Canadian international made several runs down the right flank and sent dangerous balls into the box.

His offensive contribution nearly led to Montreal taking the lead in the 64th when he connected with Urruti in the six-yard box. Urruti's shot squeaked through Turner's legs but the Revs goalkeeper got a small piece of it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 29, 2020.

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