Impact Eliminated from CONCACAF Champions League
TORREON, Mexico - Following a 5-2 (halftime 1-2) loss against Mexican club Santos Laguna, Thursday, in front of more than 15,000 spectators at Corona Stadium, in Torreon, Mexico, the Montreal Impact has been eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League, 5-4 on aggregate goals.
After having resisted to repeated attacks from Santos Laguna in the first half, the Impact did not stop the Mexican team in the second half. The Impact lost the game and the series, notably after conceding two goals in stoppage time.
"It was an uncharacteristic performance from the Impact in conceding as many goals," said head coach John Limniatis. "The team should have done better as far as applying the basic principles, which we normally execute well. Santos Laguna showed a lot of energy and this is normal when a team scores goals. It kept them going until the end. We didn't work as much. It's unfortunate to finish this way."
Santos Laguna opened the score in the 16th minute of play when Ecuadorian forward Christian Benitez deflected with a header the centering pass to the far post from Daniel Ludena coming from the left flank. Jordan dived to his right but was beat by Benitez' shot.
Impact forward Roberto Brown tied the score in the 24th minute. Following a pass that went through the defense, Brown showed up alone in front of goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez and beat him with a low shot. This was his fourth goal in the tournament.
Then, forward Eduardo Sebrango gave the lead to Montreal in the 38th minute, scoring his third goal of the series. Sebrango recovered a centering pass from Joey Gjertsen, turned, and beat Sanchez with a low shot.
Santos Laguna forward Matias Vuoso tied the score 2-2 in the 54th minute, recovering a ball in the box, following an attack from the right wing.
Vuoso then scored his second goal of the game, giving the lead to the Mexican team in the 75th minute, beating Jordan with a low shot from inside the box.
Then in stoppage time, Carlos Darwin Quintero scrored twice (91st and 93rd) bringing the final score to 5-4 on aggregates.
Santos Laguna goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez was replaced in the 33rd minute by substitute Miguel Becerra, due to a calf injury.
The Impact started the game with the same starting eleven than during the first leg in Montreal, except for two changes: midfielder Rocco Placentino, who did not take part in the game due to a groin injury, and Adam Braz, who did not start the match but was used in the second half, also because of a light groin injury. Newcomer Kevin Sakuda started the game has right back.
The Impact will be back in Montreal, Friday at 7:05 pm, at Montreal-Trudeau airport.
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