MONTREAL — Impact defender Laurent Ciman scored off a header in the 88th minute to give Montreal a 1-0 victory over the visiting Seattle Sounders at Saputo Stadium on Saturday night.
In the last league match before the MLS all-star break, Ciman connected on a free kick by Marco Donadel for his second goal of the season to give Montreal its sixth home victory in seven matches.
Montreal (7-8-3), which outshot Seattle 14-3, scored at home for the 21st consecutive game, dating back to Aug. 2, 2014. With the win, Montreal jumped into sixth in the Eastern Conference.
Former Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins made five saves for Seattle (10-10-2) but couldn't get a hand on Ciman's header with just two minutes on the clock.
The Sounders did not have a shot on target all game.
With a scoreless draw looming, Impact midfielder Ignacio Piatti almost gave the home side the victory, but his chipped shot in the 81st minute rang off the crossbar.
Ciman, who's competing in the MLS all-star Game on July 29, was outstanding for Montreal all game long.
The Belgian made back-to-back perfectly-timed slide tackles in the 25th minute to halt two separate Seattle counter attacks. In the 66th, Ciman came up big again as he prevented Seattle's Lamar Neagle from getting a shot off in the box.
The central defender even contributed offensively throughout the match. In the first half, Ciman had two opportunities to put the home team in front — on a free kick and header — but missed them both wide.
The Impact were relentless from the opening whistle, putting on an offensive show for the 17,209 fans in the stands.
Montreal spent much of the first 45 minutes of play in Seattle's half of the pitch. On top of Ciman's missed efforts, Dilly Duka fired just wide of the post after juking around a couple of defenders in the 39th minute.
Montreal saw 61 per cent of the ball in the first half.
Playing against his former club for the first time since being acquired by Seattle in the off-season, Perkins frustrated the Impact on several occasions in the first half.
In the 21st minute, Perkins came out of his net to deny a charging Dominic Oduro on a breakaway. In the 43rd, Perkins smothered the ball on a shot by Andres Romero.
The Sounders were without midfielder Clint Dempsey, who was on international duty for the United States at the Gold Cup.
Seattle was also missing defender Brad Evans (international duty), goalkeeper Stefan Frei (shoulder injury), midfielder Obafemi Martins (groin injury) and forward Marco Pappa (suspended indefinitely).
Notes: Former Juventus star and Dutch international Edgar Davids was in attendance. … Seattle has not scored a goal in 272 minutes of play. … The Impact are 6-1-0 at home in their last seven games.
Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press