Impact Goes through to Canadian Championship Final
CALGARY, Alberta - The Montreal Impact defeated Cavalry FC 1-0, Wednesday night at Spruce Meadows, in Calgary, thanks to an Anthony Jackson-Hamel goal in the first half. With a 3-1 win on aggregate, the Impact will now take on its rival, Toronto FC, in the Canadian Championship final. The first leg will be played at Stade Saputo on Wednesday, September 18, at 7:30pm. Impact season ticket Members will have access to an exclusive presale and will be able to get their tickets in advance until Saturday, when the public on sale will take place.
"They were two difficult games for us, but they were two good games," said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. "It was very important for us to score an away goal. I want to congratulate my team. Today, we fought as a team. We fought for every ball. We knew it would be that kind of game. If we can repeat this kind of spirit every game, we would be a much stronger team."
The perfect start
Montreal got this game started in the best of ways, jumping off the blocks to open the scoring in the 13th minute. After the Impact earned a corner, Saphir Taïder's ensuing cross found striker Anthony Jackson-Hamel in the box. The Canadian beat his marker and got his head on it, putting it past goalkeeper Marco Carducci to give his team the lead.
It's the Homegrown player's first goal of the year in the Canadian Championship and his third all-time in the national competition.
Goalkeeper Clément Diop was forced to make a save a few minutes later, when a Cavalry FC corner was headed on goal by Dominick Zator, but the Frenchman was able to get a hand on it and push it out of play.
The Calgarians managed to get in on goal for a chance again in the 31st minute, when midfielder Nico Pasquotti pierced into the box from the right side, but his ensuing cross trickled across the box without danger and was eventually cleared by the Montreal defense.
Calgary almost tied things up in first-half stoppage time, when a pass into the area was deflected in front of Zator, but his ensuing shot was inches over the bar.
Defense stays sturdy
Montreal returned from the locker room defensive-minded, keeping possession smartly and closing spaces quickly in the defensive half. They created a few chances as well, like after a nice spell of possession in the 62nd minute. Maxi Urruti received the ball in front of the box and turned to shoot, but his effort was blocked by a Calgary defender.
Minutes later, the Argentine collected the ball and passed to Lassi Lappalainen, who streaked past his defender on his first touch and into the box, but his shot to the opposite post missed just wide.
Despite a push from the hosts, Montreal continued being efficient on the defensive end, giving Calgary just one shot on target in the second half and maintaining its two-goal cushion.
In stoppage time, the hosts almost got a consolation goal off a corner, but Diop was able to react quickly and parry away Jonathan Wheeldon's shot from in close at the near post.
"It reminded me of when I was a kid, playing here," said Alberta native and Impact midfielder Shamit Shome. "I think we played well. "Our main goal was to qualify for the final, and that's what we did. I'm glad we got the win at the end."
After the first leg of the final at Stade Saputo on September 18, the return leg will take place at BMO Field, in Toronto, a week later, on Wednesday, September 25, at 7:30pm.
The Impact will be back at Stade Saputo for an MLS game, Bojan's first in Montreal, on Saturday, August 17, at 7:30pm (TICKETS- TVA Sports) against FC Dallas, former club of striker Maxi Urruti. Rémi Garde's men will then play their second rivalry game of the MLS regular season against Toronto FC on Saturday, August 24, at 7:30pm at BMO Field (TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690).
MTL - GK-Clément Diop; D-Bacary Sagna, Rudy Camacho, Jukka Raitala, Jorge Corrales; M-Clément Bayiha, Saphir Taïder, Shamit Shome, Lassi Lappalainen (Ken Krolicki 69'); F-Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Orji Okwonkwo 80'), Maximiliano Urruti
Subs not used - James Pantemis, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Daniel Lovitz, Ballou Tabla, Bojan
CGY - GK-Marco Carducci; D-Dominick Zator, Jonathan Wheeldon, Mason Trafford, Nathan Mavila (Aribim Pepple 80'); M-Mauro Eustáquio, Nico Pasquotti, Julian Büscher, Elijah Adekugbe (Oliver 63'), José Escalante; F-Dominique Malonga
Subs not used- Nikolas Giantsopoulos, Carlos Patiño, Victor Loturi, Malyk Hamilton
MTL - Jackson-Hamel (Taïder) 13'
MTL - Corrales 35'
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