Impact blank Italy's Pistoiese 2-0

Montreal Impact News Release -

Thursday, February 5, 2009

PISTOIA, ITALY -- The Montreal Impact registered a first win in Italy, Thursday, with a 2-0 shutout against Italian third division club Pistoiese (Serie C1), at Stadio Comunale Marcello Melani, in Pistoia.

Midfielder Leonardo Di Lorenzo opened the score in the 24th minute of play. On a free kick in midfield, just outside the 18-yard box, Di Lorenzo took a hard low shot that beat goalkeeper Bindi to his left.

Trialist Libiih scored in his first preseason action Montreal doubled the lead in the 79th minute when Cameroun forward Leo Bessong Libiih, posted on the right flank, accepted a pass from David Testo and then beat the Italian goalkeeper with a right-foot shot in the upper right corner.

“We were more comfortable than yesterday with our system of play,” said Impact head coach John Limniatis. “Our opponent wasn’t as strong as Pisa but it was a good team. We want to play physical and intense games and that is what we got today. It’s good because we were able to create chances and score goals, while still doing great defensively.”

“This team was also very organized and that’s what we should expect against Santos Laguna,” said Impact team captain Mauro Biello. “In the second half, we moved the ball better and things started to open up. The win gives us more confidence but we are here to prepare ourselves. It’s not about results, it’s about us getting better.”

The Impact almost scored in the 63rd minute when it consecutively shot twice on the post. Forward Pierre-Rudolph Mayard, who is trying out with the team, hit the left post first, then Bessong Libiih took the rebound and hit the right post.

Leo Bessong Libiih and French forward Laurent Merlin, both trying out with the Montreal team, played their first exhibition game, both coming in the game in the 50th minute of play.

Goalkeeper Srdjan Djekanovic played the entire 90 minutes and registered the shutout. The Impact, which has still not conceded a single goal to the opponent since the start of training camp, has now a 4-0-1 record in five preseason matches.

Note that defender Stefano Pesoli is back in Montreal and will undergo knee surgery, while defender Alex Surprenant joined his teammates in Florence after training in Florida with the U-20 Canadian national team.

The Impact will play its third preseason game in Italy, Saturday, against VF Colligiana (Serie C2), at 3 pm (9 am, Eastern Time).

GK-Srdjan Djekanovic, D-Stephen deRoux, D-Adam Braz (Nevio Pizzolitto, 64th), D-Cédric Joqueviel, D-Mike Vitulano, M-Rocco Placentino (Pierre-Rudolph Mayard, 60th), M-Tony Donatelli, M-Leonardo Di Lorenzo (David Testo, 45th), M-Félix Brillant (Mauro Biello, 45th), F-Joey Gjertsen (Laurent Merlin, 50th), F-Roberto Brown (Leo Bessong Libiih, 50th)

1-Bindi, 2-Bartolucci, 3-Ghinassi, 4-Di Berardino, 5-Lanzillotta, 6-Fautario, 7-Bellazzini, 8-Guerri, 9-Dal Rio, 10-Femiano, 11-Artistico

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