Fiorentina scored the tying goal in the 63rd minute. Forward Stevan Jovetic back-heeled the ball behind the Montreal defense, right to forward Harris Seferovic, who beat goalkeeper Srdjan Djekanovic with a powerful shot to the top of the net.
“The tie is a fair result,” declared Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos. “We really respect Fiorentina. It’s a first class team and we knew we would have to follow our game plan. We had to stay tight defensively and look for opportunities on the counter-attack and that’s what we were able to do. Matches like this allow us to grow as a team.”
“We played a good match today,” declared midfielder Rocco Placentino, who broke free in the 45th minute and hit the post with his low shot. “Fiorentina didn’t expect us to be so intense and that’s what allowed us to find success on the field today.”
Goalkeeper Matt Jordan, who played the first half, made several key saves. He stopped Fiorentina midfielder Marco Marchionni in the 5th minute and kept midfielder Marco Donadel’s shot from finding the back of the net in the 19th minute.
The star players for Fiorentina who were in the starting lineup included goalkeeper Sébastien Frey, defenders Alessandro Gamberini and Cesare Natali, midfielders Marco Donadel, Marco Marchionni and Massimo Gobbi, as well as forwards Stevan Jovetic and Keirrison.
“The Impact played an aggressive game and that surprised us. I also didn’t expect it to be such a physical match. We were actually scared of losing at one point,” declared Frey. “I’m now convinced that the Impact is a top-notch club. On my behalf and on behalf of Fiorentina, I wish them much success for the future.”
Note that this was the first of three international games for Montreal this summer. The Impact will face prestigious Italian club AC Milan, June 2nd, at Olympic Stadium, as well as Antigua’s Barracuda FC, September 4th at Saputo Stadium.