Top 5 most memorable games played at Stade Saputo
Wednesday’s matchup between the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo is the crucial first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final series, but what makes it even more special is that it marks a milestone for the club – the 100th game played in the stadium’s history.
The soccer-specific stadium has hosted some important matches since opening day back on May 19, 2008, and the expanded 20,521 seat capacity has become the perfect venue to host the beautiful game.
July 24, 2012 : Impact vs OL
Here is a top 5 list of the most memorable games played at Stade Saputo:
5. International friendlies
The Impact played a number of international friendlies since Stade Saputo opened, but two of them stand out in terms of international recognition. AC Fiorentina, from Italy’s Serie A, visited Montreal on May 23, 2010. Despite being a second division side, the game finished in a 1-1 draw. Then last year, the Impact hosted Olympique Lyonnais from France’s Ligue 1 on July 24. This matchup ended in an identical score line, but goes down officially as a defeat in a shootout. Forward Andrew Wenger scored for the Impact while Jeremy Pied converted a Lisandro Lopez pass.
4. MLS home opener
The MLS home opener. With the stadium being expanded for Major League Soccer, the Impact played its first six home games at Olympic Stadium and a number of games on the road to accommodate the renovations. But the long-awaited Stade Saputo home opener did not disappoint as the Impact crushed one of the top teams in the league, the Seattle Sounders, by a 4-1 score. Felipe, Justin Mapp, Andrew Wenger and Patrice Bernier all scored in that historic win.
June 16, 2012 : MTL 4-1 SEA
3. CONCACAF group qualifiers
Following its first ever qualification for the CONCACAF Champions League by winning the inaugural Canadian Championship, the Impact played a crucial game of the group stage on October 21, 2010, when the second division side hosted CD Olimpia – a Honduran first division club. The Impact needed one point to clinch one of the top two spots in its group and advance to the Champions League quarterfinals. The team did just that with a 1-1 draw on a goal by Roberto Brown.
2. First-ever game
Despite a 0-0 score line - thanks in part to a shutout by current director of soccer operations Matt Jordan in goal – and a rainy day, the excitement behind the game versus the Vancouver Whitecaps on May 19, 2008 was palpable as the team opened its new soccer-specific home. A game that showed the progress made by the organization over the years.
1. The 2009 Championship
After winning 3-2 against Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps FC on October 10 at Swangard Stadium, the Impact returned to Montreal to host the second and decisive leg of the playoff final. Despite being in the driver’s seat with three away goals scored, the home side put the pedal to the metal and pleased the sellout crowd of 13, 034 with a 3-1 victory. Tony Donatelli, Joey Gjertsen and Roberto Brown scored to secure the title, the third playoff trophy in club history.
On May 15, 2013, both teams face each other in another championship finale.
Tell us: What's the most memorable game for you at Stade Saputo?