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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 13 April 2021
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Didier Drogba rolled back the years in his very first MLS start for Montreal last night

The veteran striker conjured a hat-trick as the Impact beat Chicago Fire in a thriller.

Image: DidierDrogba via Instagram

DIDIER DROGBA STARTED a Major League Soccer game for the first time last night and made it all look very easy, notching a hat-trick as Montreal Impact overcame Chicago Fire in a 4-3 thriller.

Since arriving in the Canadian city, the 37-year-old had restricted to just a 30-minute cameo in a loss to Philadelphia a fortnight ago while getting to grips with his new surroundings.

But, at Stade Saputo on Saturday evening, he didn’t disappoint.

After 27 minutes, he conjured a superb opener. After Nigel Reo-Coker’s cross from the right was slightly behind him, he effortlessly controlled and turned in one movement, leaving a Chicago defender on the turf, before tucking away from close-range.

Montreal led 2-1 at the break but the guests scored twice inside the first fifteen minutes of the second period to take control of the game.

Source: NF Soccer/YouTube

But, then Drogba reappeared.

After Ignacio Piatti’s quick free-kick caught out the Fire defence and the camera-man too, the ex-Chelsea striker latched onto the through-ball and carefully sent the left-foot strike to the top corner to make it 3-3.

Then, just a few minutes later, he arrived at the far post to meet a cross from the right side but his thumping volley was blocked by Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson. The power of the strike meant Johnson lost his footing and couldn’t regain his balance in time to stop Drogba’s follow-up and from right on the line, it was an easy tap-in for the veteran.

The victory ensured the Impact are back in play-off contention and they’re now in 6th place in the Eastern Conference (the top six in each conference qualify for the postseason) while Chicago are bottom.

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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