Byers' Late Goal Lifts Impact
MONTREAL - A goal from Peter Byers in the final moments of the match led the Montreal Impact (12-10-6) to a 1-0 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps (9-10-9), Wednesday, in front of 11,867 spectators at Saputo Stadium.
Byers scored his third goal of the season during stoppage time of the second half. After accepting a pass from Leighton O'Brien, Byers dribbled three Whitecaps players before unleashing from the six-yard area a powerful low strike to the far post, which beat Whitecaps goalkeeper Jay Nolly to his left.
"I'm happy because we worked hard to earn this win and I feel proud to have helped the team with a goal tonight," commented Byers. "As we continue on this sequence of undefeated games, it proves to what extent the team is becoming every time stronger. There's no doubt that it will be tough for other teams to measure up against us in the playoffs."
The Impact has now brought its undefeated game sequence to six matches (5-0-1), inflicting at the same time a first loss to the Whitecaps in their last eight matches.
"We have to play every game like a final," stated Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos. "I think that it's with this kind of attitude that we will go far. We are gradually building pride and a sense of belonging to the club. It's important for all players to be focused on the will to surpass themselves for the team. This attitude will allow us to face any team."
"It feels great that we found a way to win," mentioned veteran Patrick Leduc, who was playing his second game this season. "For my part, I was a bit nervous when I stepped on the field, but everything went smoothly. It was a tough game, but we deserved the win. This outcome can only increase our confidence and strength for what's coming up."
The Impact, which has already secured its place in the playoffs, is back at fifth position in the USL First Division standings, with 42 points, one point ahead of Rochester and six more than Vancouver. Montreal is not assured of finishing no lower than 6th in the standings.
Goalkeeper Matt Jordan, who suffers from back spasms, left his place to Srdjan Djekanovic. The Canadian goalkeeper registered his 5th win and 4th shutout this season. He notably stood out at the 71st minute by stopping Whitecaps midfielder Nizar Khalfan's powerful strike.
Midfielder Joey Gjertsen started his 100th career match in the USL First Division.
Forward Eduardo Sebrango exited the game at halftime, after suffering a right hand bone fracture, after falling on the ground. He was replaced by Byers.
Defender Nevio Pizzolitto received his 8th yellow card of the campaign at the 85th minute and will have to serve an automatic two-game suspension.
With that lone yellow card in the match, the Impact has set a new team record with a total of 61 cautions this season.
Tickets for the upcoming playoffs (quarterfinal game only) will go on sale Friday, 10 am. They will be available through Admission (514-790-1245 / 1-800-361-4595 / admission.com), at the Saputo Stadium ticketing office or at 514-328-3668 (group packages only).
The Impact will play its next game Sunday against the Minnesota Thunder, at Saputo Stadium, at 3:30 pm (CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990, USLlive.com), and will close the regular season by facing the Carolina RailHawks on Friday September 18, in Cary (7 pm, USLlive.com).
3rd minute - Forward Eduardo Sebrango took a point blank shot that goalkeeper Jay Nolly stopped, then midfielder Tony Donatelli jumped on the rebound, but his high strike went above the Whitecaps net.
13th minute - Following a cross from Joey Gjertsen from the right flank, Eduardo Sebrango deflected the ball with a header, then Leonardo Di Lorenzo took a volley shot that went to the right of the goal.
27th minute - On a pass from Sebrango, forward Roberto Brown fired a low point blank shot to the near post, but Nolly made the save with his feet.
40th minute - After defeating Whitecaps defender Lyle Martin, Gjertsen fired a high shot from inside the box that went just above the goal
THE LAST 2 REGULAR SEASON MATCHES
- Sunday, September 13 - Minnesota @ IMPACT -Saputo Stadium - 3:30 pm (CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990, USLlive.com)
- Friday, September 18 - IMPACT @ Carolina - WakeMed Soccer Park - 7 pm (USLlive.com)
• Discuss this story on the USL First Division message board...
USL First Division Stories from September 9, 2009
- Late Goal Drops Whitecaps - Vancouver Whitecaps
- Byers' Late Goal Lifts Impact - Montreal Impact
- Timbers' Keel Earns Team Of The Week Honors - Portland Timbers
- City Stars Support NuRock Ownership Group During League Transition - Cleveland City Stars
- Week 22 USL-1 honors announced - USL-1
- Tickets For The Playoffs On Sale Friday - Montreal Impact
- Leo Inacio Named to the USL-1 Team of the Week - Fort Lauderdale Strikers
- Dusty Hudock to undergo season-ending surgery - Charleston Battery
- Battery squares off with Blues - Charleston Battery
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