VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Montreal Impact won the 6th edition of the Amway Canadian Championship on Wednesday night thanks to a 2-2 comeback draw at BC Place. The Impact advance with a 2-2 aggregate goal series win thanks to the two away goals scored at BC Place. With the win, the Impact also punched its ticket for the CONCACAF Champions League.
Camara finds late equalizer
The Whitecaps FC put a lot of early pressure that resulted in a free-kick from 35 yards out in the 4th minute. Midfielder Camilo Sanvezzo stepped up and fired a laser to the opposite corner that rang off the post and went in, giving Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush no shot as he dove to his left, marking the first goal conceded by either team in the series up to that point.
The Impact then tied it in the 49th minute. A shot from inside the right side of the box by forward Andrew Wenger was deflected by a ‘Caps defender right to Felipe outside the box. His low blast snuck inside the far post, beating keeper Brad Knighton as he dove to his right.
Second half substitute Daigo Kobayashi put the Whitecaps FC up in the 69th minute when midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker played a cross from the right flank into the box. The ball bounced around near the six yard box before the Japanese midfielder pounced on the loose ball.
The Impact found the equalizer in the 84th minute. After Di Vaio earned a corner kick with a hard shot from inside the box that was pushed aside by the ‘Caps keeper, Justin Mapp curled it from the corner flag toward the short post near the six yard box. Defender Hassoun Camara leaped over two ‘Caps defenders and placed his header low inside the far post.
Impact midfielder Justin Mapp was named MVP of the tournament thanks to one goal and two assists in three games played.
A tough start to the game
"We weren't really in the game in the first few minutes, but we worked hard and our determination came through in earning the result," said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. "They scored two goals and it wasn't easy because both teams really wanted to win. We showed that we have a good team."
"We felt really good before the game as we've been playing well in the regular season," said Patrice Bernier. "We showed a lot of desire tonight to come back in this game. Vancouver has a very good side and they pressed a lot. We did what we felt was needed to become Canadian champions, but it remains just another step in our journey."
TWITTER REACTIONS: Tweets from the players and supporters after the game
"It's really great to experience this type of moment with my teammates," added defender Hassoun Camara. "We are very proud to bring this trophy back to Montreal. The minute Justin hit the ball, I felt that it was meant for me. I stayed really focused to get on the end of it properly and put it in the net. It’s incredible to be crowned Canadian champions."
WATCH: Full match highlights
Bush comes up big
Goalkeeper Evan Bush made three big saves in the first half. The first came in the 7th minute when midfielder Russell Teibert’s left footed shot from the right side of the box was saved towards the bottom left corner. Then the Canadian midfielder hammered another left footer from the right side of the box this time destined for the top left corner in the 12th minute, but Bush pushed it away. Finally in stoppage time, Kenny Miller came in on a half break after bringing down a long ball played over the Impact defence, but Bush came sliding out to make the stop 16 yards out.
‘Caps defender Johnny Leveron hit the bar with a header from the centre of the box after he got on the end of cross by Sanvezzo following a corner in the 12th minute.
In the 22nd minute, Impact forward Andrew Wenger stole the ball from a ‘Caps defender and fired a left-footed from the top of the half circle that was scooped up by the Vancouver keeper.
After taking a pass from Teibert in the 71st minute, Sanvezzo hit the right post with a right footed shot from the opposite side of the box.
Di Vaio came close in the 73rd minute when he turned the ball towards goal from the left flank before curling one that just missed the far post, just wide right of goal.
The Impact heads directly to Kansas City on Thursday in preparation for Saturday’s matchup versus Sporting KC at 8:30pm (ET) for its 12th regular season game in MLS.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Jeb Brovsky (Collen Warner 82’), Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Hassoun Camara; M- Patrice Bernier, Felipe (Dennis Iapichino 88’), Andrés Romero (Blake Smith 73’), Justin Mapp; F-Andrew Wenger, Marco Di Vaio
Unused subs: GK-Troy Perkins; M-Wandrille Lefèvre, Sanna Nyassi, Sinisa Ubiparipovic
VAN – GK-Brad Knighton; D-Andy O’Brien, Y.P. Lee, Johnny Leveron, Alain Rochat; M-Jun Marques Davidson, Nigel Reo-Cocker, Gershon Koffie (Daigo Kobayashi 57’), Camilo (Darren Mattocks 82’); F-Kenny Miller (Jordan Harvey 73’), Russell Teibert
Unused subs: GK-Joe Cannon; M-Matt Watson; F-Kekuta Manneh, Tommy Heinemann
VAN – Camilo 4’
MTL – Felipe 49'
VAN – Kobayashi 69’
MTL – Camara (Mapp) 84’
MTL – Camara 6’