Impact moves on to conference finals

"Beating Rochester is a great feeling," said Impact head coach Nick DeSantis, who saw the Impact knock the Rhinos out of the playoffs for the first time in five tries. "We didn’t stay on our heels, we attacked them and we got another big goal from Eddy. The players really had the desire to win."

The game was played in front of 10,281 spectators at Claude Robillard Sports Complex, a club record for a playoff game. The old record of 8,169 fans had been set on October 15, 1994, during that year’s league championship game.

Sebrango scored his second goal of the playoffs. After accepting a lead pass by Zé Roberto on the left side, Sebrango made a run into the penalty area and found the opening under Rhinos goalkeeper Theo Zagar.

"It feels good, I tell you," said Sebrango, who also scored the lone goal in the Impact’s 1-0 win Friday in Rochester. "There was a lot of psychology involved in this series, but we decided to forget the past and we showed that we wanted it more than them tonight."

Defender Gabriel Gervais preserved Montreal’s lead at the 40th minute when he blocked a shot by Ian Fuller right in front of the goal line, to the left of Sutton.

The Rhinos thought they had tied the score at the 71st minute, but Sutton made the save on a Noah Delgado shot just before the ball went completely past the goal line. Sutton touched the initial shot with his leg as he was lying down along the line, and the ball bounced off the side of the post and into the Impact goalkeeper’s hands. The Rhinos protested after the play, which led to Kirk Wilson’s red card and ejection.

"I came across the ball and kept it over the line, it’s my foot that hit the post (and the net), so it’s clear to me there was no goal," said Sutton.

DeSantis’ squad will face the Syracuse Salty Dogs in the Eastern Conference finals next weekend. Sunday in Syracuse, the Salty Dogs beat the Kickers 5-4 in penalty kicks in its conference semi-final after Richmond tied the series up with a 2-1 win.

The conference final, another home-and-away, aggregate-goal series, will kick off Friday night in Syracuse and will finish on Sunday, September 12 at Claude Robillard Sports Complex.

In other news, Impact defender Gabriel Gervais and midfielder Sandro Grande have been called up by the Canadian national team for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifying game in Costa Rica. They will leave Monday morning and will be back with the Impact on Thursday.



Stéphane Banfi
514-328-3668 (ext. 27)