MONTREAL, QC – With their first ever Voyageurs Cup firmly in sight, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (ACC: 2W-0L-1D) earned a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Montreal Impact (ACC: 1W-1L-1D) at Stade Saputo in the first leg of the 2013 Amway Canadian Championship final on Wednesday.
TICKETS FOR 2ND LEG, MAY 29 AT BC PLACE: ticketmaster.ca/whitecapsfc
Highlights: Montreal Impact 0 - 0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Head coach Martin Rennie made five changes from last Saturday's starting lineup against LA Galaxy, with Brad Knighton, Jordan Harvey, Brad Rusin, Matt Watson, and Russell Teibert coming in for Joe Cannon, Young-Pyo Lee, Jun Marques Davidson, Camilo Sanvezzo, and Daigo Kobayashi.
It took just 30 seconds for the action to begin, as the opening minute of the match saw a Montreal pass picked off by ‘Caps midfielder Teibert on the wing with the young Canadian crossing to Watson, but the Englishman's volleyed effort bounced harmlessly wide.
On 19 minutes, Montreal's Marco Di Vaio had a chance to give the home side the lead when he broke into the ‘Caps end and sent a shot in on ‘keeper Brad Knighton, but the North Carolina native was there to make the diving save.
Two minutes later, on 21 minutes, Patrice Bernier had another chance to net one for the Impact. Following a nice piece of attacking play from the Impact, Bernier sent a low shot in on goal, but the ball flew just wide of target.
In the 32nd minute, a few minutes of frantic play led to the ‘Caps having another great chance to take the lead. Watson stole the ball and passed it to Alain Rochat, who fired a shot that was stopped by Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush. Soon after, Rochat had another opportunity when he headed a corner kick towards goal, but it was blocked off the line. The rebound then fell to Andy O'Brien, who tapped the ball towards goal before it was eventually cleared by the home side.
After a strong first half performance from the 'Caps, the two sides went into the break level at 0-0.
On 62 minutes, Andres Romero nearly broke in on goal, but Nigel Reo-Coker did well to track back and stuff the attack.
Two minutes later, Teibert had a chance for Vancouver on 64 minutes as he made some nice moves towards goal, reminiscent to his first professional goal last weekend against the Galaxy, but his swirving shot sailed left of the target.
On 74 minutes, Di Vaio had a great chance to open the scoring after former Whitecaps FC defender Jeb Brovsky made a short pass into the middle of the 18-yard box, but the Italian's shot was blocked by O’Brien.
Despite continued pressure by the home side late on, the first leg ended in a 0-0 draw. The two-legged final now heads back to BC Place on Wednesday, May 29 as the 'Caps look to hoist the Voyageurs Cup for the first time in front of their home crowd.
Next up, the ‘Caps host Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers at BC Place this coming Saturday, May 18. Tickets remain for Saturday's match, as well as the ACC final second leg on May 29 and are available at ticketmaster.ca/whitecapsfc.