Match report: Impact and Whitecaps FC play to a scoreless draw in first leg of ACC final
MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC played to a scoreless draw on Wednesday night, in the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final. The return leg is set for Wednesday May 29, at BC Place, in Vancouver. Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush earned the shutout, his second of the tournament.
The Impact earned its first scoring chance in the 19th minute. Posted near centre field, defender Hassoun Camara sent a long ball down the left flank to forward Marco Di Vaio, who cut towards the goal to beat a defender before firing one from 25 yards out. Whitecaps FC keeper Brad Knighton dove to his left to stop the low drive.
One minute later, midfielder Patrice Bernier found a loose ball in the penalty area, following a rebound, but his low shot missed wide right of goal.
In the 32nd minute, Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush made a spectacular reaction save, using his right hand to push away a blast from defender Alain Rochat. On the ensuing corner kick, the Montreal defence cleared the ball on two occasions off of chances by Rochat, with his head, and a shot by Andy O’Brien. The in stoppage time, Bush jumped to stop Erik Hurtado’s shot with little time remaining at the end of the second half.
Impact defender Jeb Brovsky was bloodied and battered in the 88th minute when he collided with Vancouver's Jordan Harvey, as both went up for a ball that was sent deep into the box by Montreal defender Matteo Ferrari.
Midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic made his first appearance for the Impact in 2013 - after suffering an injury during preseason - coming on as a substitute in the 81st minute.
Defenders Matteo Ferrari and Dennis Iapichino made their first starts in Canadian Championship play, while midfielders Blake Smith and Felipe made their 2013 ACC debuts in the second half.
The Impact was playing its 100th game at Stade Saputo (51-26-23).
“We played well and gave it all on the field,” said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. “It was hard to find some space in the offensive zone. We worked hard and had a lot of the possession, especially in the second half. Now for the second leg, we have to find a response.”
“We started the game well, but then they put up a wall in the middle and it became more difficult to score,” said Patrice Bernier. “They came to play for a result, without allowing a goal. It makes the next game a one game final.”
“We really wanted to make sure that we didn’t give up an away goal to them,” said Hassoun Camara. “I think we played well, but Vancouver came with the idea of defending. But the result is good for us because now we can go there and if we get one, it becomes tough for them.”
The team’s next regular season game will take place at Stade Saputo on Saturday, May 25 at 7pm (ET), against the Philadelphia Union. It will be the second of three games to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the club.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara, Dennis Iapichino; M- Patrice Bernier, Collen Warner (Felipe 62’), Andrés Romero (Blake Smith 72’), Justin Mapp; F-Andrew Wenger (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 81’), Marco Di Vaio
Unused subs: GK-Troy Perkins; D-Karl W. Ouimette; M-Wandrille Lefèvre, Sanna Nyassi
VAN – GK-Brad Knighton; D-Nigel Reo-Cocker, Johnny Leveron, Andy O’Brien, Jordan Harvey; M-Matt Watson, Brad Rusin; Alain Rochat (Erik Hurtado 79’); F-Darren Mattocks (Corey Hertzog 65’), Russell Teibert, Gershon Koffie
Unused subs: GK-Joe Cannon; D-Y.P. Lee, Tom Heinemann; M-Jun Marques Davidson; F-Kekuta Manneh
MTL – Camara 25’
MTL – Warner 31’
MTL – Di Vaio 33’
VAN – O’Brien 49’