Impact conquer Whitecaps in Canadian Champions League
The visiting Montreal Impact edged the Vancouver Whitecaps for a second straight game by a score of 2-0 in Canadian Champions League soccer action on Wednesday at Swangard Stadium.
Roberto Brown scored a first-half goal in the 30th minute for Montreal, while former Whitecap David Testo doubled the Impact's lead in the 66th minute.
The Impact improve to 4-0 since John Limniatis took over as coach on June 10 from Nick DeSantis, who was re-assigned to general manager.
Despite the loss, Vancouver coach Teitur Thordarson was pleased with his team's effort.
"I didn't think they were the better side, I thought we were much better," he said. "I felt we dominated the game, clearly.
"We were very unfortunate to get two simple goals scored against us. We had several chances including a fantastic shot from Eddie Sebrango."
The game was the latest in the Canadian Champions League — a three-team round-robin tournament involving Toronto FC (Canada's lone representative in the 14-team Major League Soccer), the Impact and the Whitecaps, who compete in the USL First Division (one level below MLS).
Montreal improves to two wins and a loss in qualifying, Vancouver has two losses through two games, while Toronto earned a victory in its only match to date. Each team plays four games in total.
The competition, which runs through July 22, also serves as the Canadian qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Champions League.
The top team in the final standings will be Canada's representative at the CONCACAF Champions League, an international club competition that crowns the best pro team in North and Central America and the Caribbean.
The CONCACAF Champions League winner then goes on to play at the FIFA World Club Championship in Japan in December 2009 against continental champions from Europe, South America, Asia and Africa. Italian giants AC Milan won the 2008 FIFA World Club Championship.
Foul-filled first half
Referee Domenic Scali was busy in the first half, calling 19 fouls that resulted in four yellow cards for the Impact and one for the Whitecaps.
But Brown took advantage of a rebound in the box to open the scoring for the Impact in the 30th minute.
Testo forced Vancouver goalkeeper Jay Nolly to sprawl out to save his hard, low shot from within the box. Nolly couldn't control the blast and Brown was in perfect position to bury the loose ball into the open net for a 1-0 Montreal lead.
Vancouver was outshot by a margin of 5-2 in the first half, but began to mount a charge after the break.
Sebrango nearly brought the home side even with a powerful volley from just outside the top of the box 10 minutes into the second half, but the ball hit the crossbar and rolled out of harm's way to preserve the Montreal lead.
Vancouver continued to apply pressure with its best chance coming on a dangerous chip shot from Steve Kindel just outside the box in the 59th minute. But Montreal goaltender Matt Jordan stretched out to punch the ball away to preserve his team's one-goal advantage.
Testo, who played two seasons for the Whitecaps before joining the Impact last season, added the insurance marker with a strong curving blast from 25 yards out in the 66th minute to double the Impact's lead to 2-0.
"It all happened so fast. I just tried to keep the ball under the crossbar and get it away from the keeper," Testo said. "It's kind of weird playing against my old team, especially when I'm good friends with a lot of them.
"There's a little bit inside of me that wants to win, probably a little bit more than the other guys."
Wednesday was the third match between the two clubs in just over two months. Vancouver earned a 1-0 win over Montreal in the Whitecaps' home opener on April 12, and they played to a 0-0 draw at the inaugural match at Montreal's Saputo Stadium on May 19.
On June 17, the Impact beat the Whitecaps 2-0 in their first Canadian Champions League matchup of the season.
The next game in the Canadian Champions League sees Toronto FC host Vancouver on July 1 (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 3 p.m. ET).
With files from the Canadian Press