The paper deals with the two-dimensional unsteady problem of the impact of a liquid parabola onto a rigid flat plate at a constant velocity. The liquid is assumed ideal and incompressible and its flow potential. The initial stage of the impact is the main concern in this study. The non-dimensional half-width of the contact region between the impacting liquid and the plate plays the role of a small parameter in this problem. The flow region is subdivided into four parts: (i) the main flow region, the dimension of which is of the order of the contact-region width, (ii) the jet-root region, where the curvature of the free surface is very high and the flow is strongly nonlinear, (iii) the jet region, where the flow is approximately one-dimensional, (iv) the far-field region, where the flow is approximately uniform at the initial stage of impact. A second-order solution in the main flow region has been derived and matched to the first-order inner solution in the jet-root region. The matching conditions provide an estimate of the dimension of the contact region for small time. Pressure distributions in both the main flow region and the inner region are derived. The accuracy of the obtained asymptotic formulae is estimated. The second-order hydrodynamic force acting on the plate is obtained and compared with available experimental data. A fairly good agreement is reported.