MONTREAL: ­Play to win.

That’s how Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3W-4L-1D) said they were going to approach matches away from home this season – and that’s exactly what they did on Saturday afternoon in a 2-1 comeback victory over Canadian rival Montreal Impact (1W-3L-4D) at Stade Saputo.

Andrew Jacobson led the way with a goal and an assist and Cristian Techera scored the game-winner in the 79th minute as the ‘Caps claimed their first road win of 2017

For the first time this year, Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson fielded the same starting XI as in a previous match on Saturday – in back-to-back outings, no less.

Prior to that, he had used 11 different lineups in 11 matches to start 2017.

But after going toe-to-toe with the Timbers a week ago in Portland, Robinson once again with a 4-1-4-1 setup featuring a midfield trio of Matias Laba behind Jacobson and Tony Tchani.

And it had the desired effect for most of the first half – despite conceding early.

Montreal opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Marco Donadel, who found the bottom left corner with a bouncer from distance. Substitute Anthony Jackson-Hamel, who replaced an injured Matteo Mancosu just minutes prior, attempted to deflect the strike in the box and that appeared to delay the reaction of Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted just enough.At any rate, it was 1-0 Impact.

From there, however, it was all Vancouver. The ‘Caps looked in complete control for the remainder of the half, finding all sorts of joy through Techera and Sheanon Williams down the right flank. And they eventually levelled the score in the 29th minute.

After a Christian Bolaños free kick was headed away, the ball fell to Jacobson at the top of the box and the midfielder made no mistake, placing a perfectly-hit volley into the top right corner.

The Impact manufactured a little bit of a pushback in the second half, coming close on a pair of crosses to teenager Ballou Tabla at the back post. But Ousted saved the first and Tabla missed the target on the second – and the ‘Caps made them pay.

In the 79th minute, Jacobson released Techera into the box with a left-footed throughball. “The Bug” then cut into the middle past a sliding Laurent Ciman before calmly finishing with his left foot to give Vancouver their first lead of the game.

Montreal put on the pressure in the dying stages but Ousted and the ‘Caps held firm to come away with the victory – a much-deserved one, at that.

Saturday’s match was Vancouver’s second of four straight away from home. Next up is a tilt with Tim Howard’s Colorado Rapids on Friday, May 5 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (7 p.m. PT on TSN and TSN 1040 radio).   

MATCH DETAILS
Budweiser Man of the Match: Andrew Jacobson
Referee: Drew Fischer  
Attendance: 19,597

Scoring Summary
9′ – MTL – Marco Donadel
29′ – VAN – Andrew Jacobson
79′ – VAN – Cristian Techera (Andrew Jacobson)

Statistics
Possession: Montreal 51.5% – Vancouver 48.5%
Shots: Montreal 18 – Vancouver 10
Shots on Goal: Montreal 4 – Vancouver 3
Saves: Montreal 1 – Vancouver 3
Fouls: Montreal 18 – Vancouver 16
Offsides: Montreal 2 – Vancouver 2
Corners: Montreal 9 – Vancouver 0

Cautions 
28′ – MTL – Kyle Fisher
41′ – MTL – Hernan Bernardello
59′ – MTL – Marco Donadel
65′ – VAN – Matias Laba
90′ + 4′ – MTL – Dominic Oduro

Montreal Impact
1.Evan Bush; 18.Chris Duvall, 26.Kyle Fisher, 23.Laurent Ciman, 2.Ambroise Oyongo; 33.Marco Donadel, 30.Hernan Bernardello (7.Dominic Oduro 65′); 13.Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, 8.Patrice Bernier, 10.Ignacio Piatti; 21.Matteo Mancosu (24.Anthony Jackson-Hamel 5′, 3.Daniel Lovitz 73′)

Substitutes not used
40.Maxime Crepeau, 14.Adrian Arregui, 16.Calum Mallace, 25.Louis Beland-Goyette

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 25.Sheanon Williams, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba; 13.Cristian Techera (31.Russell Teibert 90′), 8.Andrew Jacobson, 16.Tony Tchani (67.Alphonso Davies 68′), 7.Christian Bolaños (11.Nicolás Mezquida 81′); 12.Fredy Montero 

Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 28.Jake Nerwinski, 30.Ben McKendry, 77.Mauro Rosales