MONTREAL - The Montreal Impact have opened their account in the Major League Soccer win category.
Sinisa Ubiparipovic and Andrew Wenger each scored as the expansion Impact registered their first MLS victory with a 2-1 win against Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at Olympic Stadium.
"It's always nice to get the monkey off your back and move forward, but more importantly it just feels good to win," said Wenger.
Ubiparipovic, making his first appearance of the season for Montreal, scored in the 17th minute in front of 23,120 spectators at Olympic Stadium.
Wenger, the Impact's first overall draft pick, doubled the Impact's lead with nine minutes remaining as Montreal (1-4-1) held off a late rally by 10-man TFC.
It was the first ever MLS goal for Wenger, who has been splitting time between the team and Duke University in North Carolina, where he is finishing up a history degree.
"It's good to break that losing streak, and now we just have to string some wins together," Wenger said.
Danny Koevermans scored for winless Toronto (0-4-0), which was reduced to 10 men after defender Logan Emory was sent off in the 65th minute. Koevermans scored on a header in the 88th to cut Montreal's lead to one.
It was Toronto's fifth game in 14 days, including CONCACAF Champions League matches.
The crowd was less than half the 58,912 fans who attended Montreal's home opener on March 17.
But the home fans were loud and enthusiastic as their team got off to a strong start, dominating ball possession early on and coming close on several rushes by Sanna Nyassi.
The two clubs showed a feistiness in their first ever MLS matchup in what promises to become a strong rivalry.
Montreal and Toronto have met six times before in Amway (formerly Nutrilite) Canadian Championship play. TFC won five of those matches.
Emory, who was sent off for tripping Nyassi, was visibly disappointed after the game and said the team needs to start executing better if they hope to find their first win on the season.
"It's definitely frustrating," he said. "Nobody's really breaking us down, it's all mistakes we're making."
"Everybody has to look at the game tapes and see how to improve," added TFC 'keeper Milos Kocic. "If you want to earn your respect from the fans and the other players and your teammates, you need to perform."
Impact head coach Jesse Marsch said his team's hard work finally paid off after a string of disappointing results.
"I know that they're all buying in to what we're about," said Marsch. "More than anything I wanted them to feel validation for all the positive energy that they've given to the club."
Impact midfielder and hometown favourite Patrice Bernier didn't play for the second straight game, although Marsch said Bernier will be back in the lineup soon.
"We know that he's a very good player, it's going to be a long year," he said.
The Impact now return to the road for games at Dallas and D.C. United before returning home for a game against Portland on April 28.
Only three of their first 10 games are at home as they await completion of the expansion of their outdoor home, Saputo Stadium.
TFC returns home to Toronto for a game against Chivas USA next Saturday.