BURNABY, B.C — The Montreal Impact's chances of representing Canada in the first CONCACAF Champions League are looking good after they beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 in qualifying Wednesday night.
Montreal opened the scoring at Swangard Stadium in the 30th minute after Whitecaps goalkeeper Jay Nolly was unable to hang on to a shot by Impact midfielder David Testo. The ball fell to the feet of Montreal striker Roberto Brown, who had no problem putting the rebound into the Vancouver net from within the six-yard box.
Brown, who has more than 40 appearances for the Panamanian national team, has been on a roll lately. He scored the game-winner and assisted on the other two goals in Montreal's 3-0 win over Carolina on Sunday and earned a spot on the United Soccer League's team of the week.
Testo bagged Montreal's second after a stunning low strike to the corner from 25 yards out went beyond the reach of Nolly's dive. Testo played two seasons for the Whitecaps before joining the Impact last year.
"It all happened so fast. I just tried to keep the ball under the crossbar and get it away from the keeper," Testo said. "It's kind of weird playing against my old team, especially when I'm good friends with a lot of them.
"There's a little bit inside of me that wants to win, probably a little bit more than the other guys."
The Impact are now 4-0 since John Limniatis took over as coach on June 10 from Nick DeSantis, who was re-assigned to general manager.
The match was part of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, which will determine whether Montreal, Vancouver or Major League Soccer's Toronto FC will qualify as Canada's representative in the 2008-09 Champions League.
With the win, Montreal has two wins and a loss in qualifying. Toronto has one win in their lone match, while Vancouver has two losses. Each team plays four games in total.
Though neither team was able to muster much offence, there were plenty of fouls - 19 in the first half alone. Referee Domenic Scali punished the Impact with four yellow cards, while Adrian Cann was Vancouver's lone booking.
Though they looked sluggish in the first half, the Whitecaps showed signs of life in the second. Striker Eduardo Sebrango hit a bouncing ball off the crossbar from just outside the penalty area 10 minutes into the half.
Vancouver's best chance came in the 59th minute after midfielder Steve Kindel tried to shoot overtop of goalkeeper Matt Jordon from 20 yards out.
But Jordan was able to punch the ball away for a corner.
Despite the loss, Whitecaps coach Teitur Thordarson was pleased with his team's performance.
"I didn't think they were the better side, I thought we were much better," he said. "I felt we dominated the game, clearly.
"We were very unfortunate to get two simple goals [scored against us]. We had several chances including a fantastic shot from Eddie [Sebrango]."
The two United Soccer League clubs are very familiar with each other.
Vancouver beat Montreal 1-0 in their April 12 home opener, while the two teams played to a 0-0 draw at the inaugural match at Montreal's Saputo Stadium on May 19. Most recently, Montreal beat the Whitecaps 2-0 on June 17 in Nutrilite Canadian Championship play.