MONTREAL – Christian Ramirez was bursting to reveal some special news, and Abu Danladi gave him even more reason to celebrate.
Danladi came on as a substitute for Ramirez 65 minutes in and scored in the 89th minute as the Loons earned their second win in their past three road games, a 3-2 stunner against the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo on Saturday night.
After scoring his team-leading 12th goal in the 60th minute to draw the Loons even for the second time at 2-2, Ramirez retrieved the ball and tucked it under the front of his jersey.
“Yeah, my wife’s pregnant,” said Ramirez, who made his first start since he sustained a hamstring injury on July 29. “We’ve been waiting for it. I was hoping it would be at home. I didn’t know if I’d get the start tonight, just because of the severity of my injury six or seven weeks ago. But it felt good. I felt good while I was out there.”
Ramirez came on as a second-half substitute in the Loons’ 3-0 loss at the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday.
“Abu’s been playing really well the last five weeks, and credit to him to finish off that goal,” Ramirez said. “It’s his best one of his rookie year so far, so hats off to him. He came on and did a fantastic job.”
The Loons (8-15-5, ninth in West) finished 1-1-1 in a stretch of three games in eight days that began with a 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union last Saturday.
“I’m really, really pleased for the players,” Loons coach Adrian Heath said. “They got a little bit of reward for all that hard work.”
After falling behind 1-0 nine minutes in, Loons goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth made his first penalty kick save of the season, on Ignacio Piatti, before United’s Kevin Molino scored on a penalty kick 20 minutes in.
Ramirez’s goal drew the Loons level for the second time moments after midfielder Blerim Dzemaili of Montreal (10-12-6, seventh in the East) brought the capacity crowd of 20,801 back to life by giving the Impact a 2-1 lead.
“It was the first time I knew about it,” Heath said. “I thought, ‘Oh, maybe she’s pregnant then,’ when he was putting the ball where he did. So I’m pleased for him. You know he’s been injured the last five, six weeks with a hamstring, so for him to come back and start and play the way he did and get a goal, I’m really pleased for him.”
Danladi was delighted to learn that Ramirez and his wife are expecting their first child.
“He’s an incredible guy off the field, and on the field everybody knows his ability to be able to score goals,” Danladi said. “I learn from him. We all learn from each other.
“And I’m happy he scored today because that really helped us come back and I was able to come in and do what I could do as well.”