The Impact were under intense pressure in the last 10 minutes of Saturday's contest with FC Dallas, but the home team held on for the 2-1 win — its second consecutive victory in MLS.
"They (Dallas) had their chances, and 80 per cent of people in the stadium thought they were probably going to score," said Jack McInerney, who put Montreal ahead 2-0 in the in the second half. "You're always going to be on your toes when you're up at the end of the game. We just had to grind it out, and we did.
"I was a little nervous myself."
After Montreal failed to put the game to bed on several occasions throughout the second half, FC Dallas threw everything it had at the home side late in the encounter.
Down 2-0, defender Matt Hedges reduced the deficit in the 77th minute — firing home a rebound after Evan Bush made the initial save. The goal breathed new life into Dallas.
Two minutes after Hedges' goal, forward Blas Perez was left all alone in front of net and missed what would have been a sensational bicycle kick goal. In the 88th, Bush made an outstanding diving save with his fingertips on a header from Perez.
"Probably one of the best saves I've ever seen," said McInerney, who hugged Bush after the stop. "I wanted to give him a big kiss afterwards."
Perez was at it again in stoppage time. The Panamanian international's right-footed strike was kick-saved by Bush, and defender Donny Toia blocked the rebound on the goal-line.
Perez had one last chance to tie the game for Dallas (6-3-3), but his shot from close range went just wide of Bush's net.
"For 75 minutes we were the better team," said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. "When you give up a late goal, we were under some pressure. We sat back a little too deep. We were mismatched. It's something that we need to look at.
"I don't think I have any dark hairs left after games like this."
With the win, the Impact (2-3-2) climbed out of the Eastern Conference basement. Montreal had not won back-to-back games in MLS since Aug. 17 and Aug. 24, 2013.
Ignacio Piatti opened the scoring for the home side from the penalty spot in the 25th minute.
After incessant pressure from Dallas to start the match, Andres Romero beat Hedges in the penalty box before being brought down by defender Moises Hernandez.
Though he missed a penalty Montreal's last time out, Piatti made no mistake from the spot — slotting home past goalkeeper Ian Kennedy for his second goal of the year.
McInerney scored the winner in the 50th minute of play, firing home his second goal of the season after Piatti laid the ball off right on the edge of the 18-yard-box.
Montreal looked to put the game out reach when Piatti came close to scoring again in the 52nd minute, but he put his shot over the crossbar. In the 74th, McInerney's left-footed strike from inside the area missed wide.
It wasn't all smiles for Klopas' men, as the Impact lost yet another player to injury when right back Eric Miller (hamstring) left the game in the first half.
"I have to bring a priest to bless the stadium with the amount of injuries that we've had," said Klopas. "Every time I get a phone call from the athletic trainer, I don't want to answer. I do my cross before I answer."
Notes: Defender Bakary Soumare reached 10,000 minutes in his MLS career. … Piatti was wearing the captain's armband for Montreal. … The Impact have played, on average, four fewer games than their MLS opponents. … Ambroise Oyongo of Cameroon made his first start for Montreal at left back.Suggest a correction