Canadian Championship: Winning first leg key for Montreal Impact in final vs Vancouver
In the semi-final series versus Toronto FC, the Montreal Impact had the luxury of playing the second leg at home, having finished the 2012 season ahead of his rivals from Ontario, but now for the final, Vancouver has the luxury thanks to its first ever playoff appearance last year.
And that makes it all the more important for the Impact to get off to a good start.
“It’s very important to have a good result at home,” said Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello. “Especially with the second leg being played in Vancouver, we want to make sure that we get off on the right foot.”
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The teams met twice in the 2011 Canadian Championship. The Whitecaps won the first leg in Montreal 1-0, and lost the second leg at home 1-0. With the game tied on aggregate, Vancouver scored the winning-goal in extra time and advanced to the finals.
In this case, it can be argued that having home field advantage helped the ‘Caps earn that added time goal and thusly, the Impact hopes to avoid a similar fate in 2013 and keep that second leg in the back of the player’s mind in preparing for the final.
“We have to make sure that we don’t give them any goals at home,” said defender Matteo Ferrari. “We need to win at home in order to go to Vancouver and then if we get one there, with the extra of scoring an away goal, we are in a good spot to win the title.”
And with a more arduous travel schedule between Quebec and BC as opposed to Ontario for the semi-final, keeping emphasis on both legs will be important in order to dictate how the second leg is played.
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“In Toronto, we would have much rather come home with a 1-0 loss than the 2-0 one,” said fellow back liner Jeb Brovsky. “You always have to consider the second leg match in these types of tournaments. We need the win and we need the result because we know that going to BC Place isn’t going to be a cake walk.”
The Impact and the ‘Caps play the first leg of the ACC final on Wednesday, at Stade Saputo at 7:30pm ET. The return leg is set for May 29.