Montreal Impact 2, Vancouver Whitecaps 2 | Canadian Championship Match Recap
MONTREAL – No one has put a hand on the Voyageurs Cup just yet.
A mad second half featured goals by Darren Mattocks, Pedro Morales, Laurent Ciman and Anthony Jackson-Hamel as the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Montreal Impact claimed a 2-2 draw Wednesday night in the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final held at Stade Saputo.
The ‘Caps will lament wasting a two-goal lead, but they take two precious away goals home ahead for the second leg, to be played on Wednesday, August 26 at BC Place. Montreal will have to score there.
Mattocks scored first, in the 65th minute, thanks to some tenacious work by Kianz Froese down the left. Froese outfought Marco Donadel and placed a low cross into the path of Mattocks, who’d peeled off Impact defenders Ciman and Donny Toia. With his first touch, Mattocks deflected the cross past goalkeeper Eric Kronberg.
Morales added the second with an outstanding free kick in the 72nd minute after Ciman fouled Mattocks to the right of Montreal’s penalty area. With nearly no angle at all and despite Kronberg’s best efforts to get to it, Morales curled the dead ball into the top left corner of the goal, sending the handful of Whitecaps supporters in the East end into raptures.
The Impact nearly were the victim of another lesson in efficiency. While D.C. United scored with their only shot on goal last Saturday in Montreal’s 1-0 loss, the ‘Caps scored with two of their four shots on goal. Montreal took the game to the Whitecaps, pinning them back for most of the game. But they had nothing to show from their eight-to-zero advantage in terms of shots at halftime.
Montreal finally found their breakthrough in the 84th minute on a corner kick. Donadel placed his delivery at the penalty spot, where Ciman outjumped every other player to head the ball home.
Jackson-Hamel made it 2-2 a minute later. Andres Romero, on the left flank, found the returning Justin Mapp’s run from midfield into the box. Mapp swiftly drilled a low cross which Jackson-Hamel turned past Whitecaps goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi.
The ‘Caps are back in action this Saturday, when they play away at Sporting Kansas City (9 pm ET, TSN2 in Canada, MLS LIVE in US). Montreal, for their part, enjoy a bye week in MLS and return to play the following Saturday, August 22, as they host the Philadelphia Union.