MONTREAL — Sebastien Le Toux scored in the 78th minute as the Philadelphia Union spoiled Didier Drogba's Montreal Impact debut with a 1-0 MLS victory on Saturday night.
Drogba, the former Chelsea and Ivory Coast star, went into the game to a standing ovation in the 59th minute but was unable to provide the spark to a Montreal side that dominated possession and had several chances but couldn't find the net.
The Union (7-13-6), who ended a five-game winless run, found the mark when C.J. Sapong lofted a pass to Eric Ayuk, whose shot was redirected in front by Le Toux for his sixth goal of the season.
The Impact, spurred by their first sellout crowd of 20,801 at Saputo Stadium in nearly two years, poured on the attacks but failed to connect for the equalizer.
Drogba took a free kick from outside the penalty area in the 90th minute, but just missed the right post.
It was a second consecutive 1-0 defeat at home for Montreal, which lost by that score to D.C. United on Aug. 8.
The Impact signed Drogba to an 18-month contract on July 31 but, having not played since his final game for Chelsea in May, needed time to work himself into shape. Dominic Oduro was the starting striker.
The crowd chanted for Droba during an uneventful first half in which the best chance went early to Oduro, only to see his shot go wide. A Johan Venegas header in the 28th also missed the target.
For Philadelphia, a dangerous Tranquillo Barnetta volley was blocked by midfielder Marco Donadel in the 16th minute.
There was also a hearty ovation for Impact midfielder Justin Mapp, whose entry in the 69th minute marked his 300th MLS game. He is the youngest ever to reach that milestone at 30 years 10 months four days.
Montreal's top midfielder Ignacio Piatti and captain Patrice Bernier sat out with injuries, midfielder Eric Alexander was sick.
Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press