FLORENCE, Italy – The year couldn’t have ended any better.
Courtesy of an early first half goal from Marco Di Vaio, the Montreal Impact beat Serie A side Fiorentina 1-0 Thursday evening in a friendly match at the Artemio Franchi Stadium.
The Impact will now be on vacation until preseason training camp begins next January and for interim coach Mauro Biello, the win against Fiorentina was the perfect way to end what’s been a rollercoaster expansion season.
“It was an excellent way to end the season,” Biello told Goal.com. “I think that it was a tough season that we had this year, there’s been lots of distractions and lots of things that have happened recently and we came over here to have an extra two weeks of training and to play some great games, and the fact that we were able to end this season with a great win today caps off a solid year for us.”
The Impact had many opportunities to double their lead throughout the game, but though failing to do so, they never really looked like conceding one on their end as their customarily leaky defense held strong.
After the game, Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle acknowledged the Impact’s positive display on the club’s television network, explaining that Montreal fully deserved to win the game. He also said that he hopes the Quebec side will return to Florence soon.
Patrice Bernier, who wore the captain’s armband for the game, explained that Montreal made some very good progress during its Italian tour and told Goal.com that he hopes the team can carry that form into next season.
“I think the Bologna game really woke us up,” Bernier stated. “We realized that at this level things go a lot faster and you have to be in the good spot and organized. And it’s these kinds of games that enable us to take that next step and realize that we are a very good team, that were able to have good performances not just in MLS, but also against solid European teams like the one we played tonight.
"We did a lot of tactical things well and played much simpler and we hope to be able to bring all this into next year.”
The trial period of Nicolas Cordova, Henrique Cornelio Bem, Andrea Pisanu and Oussama Essabr has now expired and the Impact have yet to make any official decisions concerning their potential future with the club.
Follow GOAL.COM CANADA on Twitter