MONTREAL, Quebec – The Montreal Impact tied Toronto FC 0-0, Wednesday, in the first leg of the 2012 Amway Canadian Championship semifinal, at Olympic Stadium.
“They came here, sat back and did not want to give anything away,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “We were still able to create a few scoring chances. I think our team had a real good grasp on this game. There weren’t any moments that got away from us. We had good control, but just couldn’t get a goal.”
Postgame: Jesse Marsch
The home team came close to opening the score in the 25th minute. A chip pass from just near the half by defender Tyson Wahl sprung midfielder Lamar Neagle down left centre field. His rising left-footed shot was tipped over the bar by TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic.
The Impact came close again two minutes later off of a corner when Shavar Thomas’s header from the far post was headed off the goal line by Toronto midfielder Reggie Lamb.
“Ultimately, we didn’t give up the away goal, which can be important in a home and away series like this,” said captain Davy Arnaud. “It was a little frustrating because I think we had enough chances to score goals despite them coming out and playing defensively. As the second half was going along, and they were playing getting deeper and deeper, it made it tough to find space in dangerous spots.”
In the 35th minute, defender Jeb Brovsky put a hard cross into the box from deep down the right flank, where forward Bernardo Corradi’s diving header from about 15 yards out was once again knocked over the crossbar by Kocic.
Brovsky placed an almost identical cross into the box in the 53rd minute, this time for forward Sanna Nyassi, but his header from about 12 yards out was blocked by a TFC defender.
“It was a frustrating game, but at least we kept a zero on the board as well,” said Brovsky. “We are a little disappointed as we feel we were a little unlucky to not be up in the first half. The keeper made some great saves, and they cleared one off the line.”
The Impact dominated most facets of the game, including shots 9-3 and corners 8-0. The team has not conceded a goal in the last two games.
Former German international Torsten Frings and Thornhill, Ontario native Adrian Cann, who played with the Impact in 2004 and 2005, started for TFC. Both players missed the first meeting between these two teams on April 7, which ended in a 2-1 victory for the Impact, its first ever in MLS, due to injury.
The return leg of the home and away aggregate goal series will take place next Wednesday, May 9, at BMO Field in Toronto, at 8pm (Sportsnet East, TVA Sports, illico web, illico mobile).
Regular season action resumes on the road this Saturday against the Eastern Conference leading Sporting Kansas City at LIVESTRONG Park (TVA Sports, MLS Live, illico web, illico mobile).
The Impact then return home to face the 2011 MLS Cup Champion LA Galaxy at Olympic Stadium on Saturday, May 12. Season tickets are still available online at impactmontreal.com or by calling 514-328-3668 while individual for all games presented at the Olympic Stadium are also available through the Admission network.
MTL – GK-Donovan Ricketts, D-Jeb Brovsky, D-Shavar Thomas, D-Matteo Ferrari, D-Tyson Wahl, Collen Warner, Felipe (Justin Braun 86’), Davy Arnaud, Lamar Neagle (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 71’); F – Sanna Nyassi, Bernardo Corradi (Eduardo Sebrango 82’)
Unused Subs: GK – Greg Sutton; D – Josh Gardner, Hassoun Camara; M - Patrice Bernier
TFC – GK – Milos Kocic; D – Miguel Aceval, Doneil Henry, Ashtone Morgan, Adrian Cann; M – Julian deGuzman, Reggie Lambe (Richard Eckersley 73’), Torsten Frings, Terry Dunfield, Ryan Johnson; F - Eric Avila (Luis Silva 60’)
TOR – Luis Silva