Face Whitecaps today in Game 2 of semifinal holding one-goal lead
The Impact can advance to the United Soccer Leagues First Division champioinship game with a victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the return leg of a home-and-away, aggregate-goals semifinal at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C., tonight (6:30 p.m, The Team 990, CKAC Sports, Fox Sports World).
The Impact won the series' first game 1-0 at Saputo Stadium Friday and need only to shut out the Whitecaps to advance against the Puerto Rico Islanders and Rochester Rhinos in next Saturday's league final which would be held in Montreal if the Impact and Rochester are the finalists.
Vancouver will be without the services of starting goalkeeper Jay Nolly, who is expected to serve a one-game suspension after having been ejected in the 52nd minute of Game 1 for violent conduct during a collision with Impact midfielder Antonio Ribeiro. Ribeiro scored the only goal of the game in the 61st minute with the Whitecaps playing a man short.
The series marks only the second time the clubs have met in the playoffs. The first was 2006 when the Impact lost in the semifinals 2-0 on aggregate.
Arsenal's bid to go atop the Premier League sunk at Sunderland, but Cesc Fabregas' 93rd-minute header salvaged a 1-1 draw yesterday. Having been defeated by Hull last week, the Gunners have now dropped five points in two matches.
Arsene Wenger's side appeared to have been beaten by Grant Leadbitter's stunning 86th-minute strike. But midfielder Fabregas rescued the Gunners with a close-range header from a corner in the third minute of added time.
Former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere snatched victory for Middlesbrough at Wigan with a goal in the 89th minute. A game of very few chances appeared to be drifting to a goalless conclusion when Stewart Downing nodded down a right-wing cross on the edge of the penalty area and the Frenchman fired home.
Wes Brown and Wayne Rooney scored goals to lead Manchester United to a 2-0 triumph over Blackburn. Rooney has three goals in as many games for the Red Devils.
West Brom beat Fulham 1-0 at home thanks to Roman Bednar's solitary strike in the 61st minute.
Le Mans scored twice in the dying minutes to steal a 2-1 win and leave Le Havre rooted to the foot of the Ligue 1 table.
Gervinho struck the winner two minutes into extra time after Modibo Maiga's 89th-minute equalizer had canceled out Amadou Alassane's opener.
Mamadou Niang grabbed the winner as Marseille survived the second-half sending-off of Karim Ziani to see off Caen, 2-1.
Fernando Menegazzo scored twice in two minutes as Bordeaux came from a goal down to beat Lorient 2-1.
Nice were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Sochaux, Valter Birsa (73) canceling out Olivier Echoufnai's opener (50).
Christian Bekamenga's 77th-minute goal gave Nantes a 1-0 win over Grenoble, and Toulouse beat Auxerre by the same score courtesy of Andre-Pierre Gignac (55).
Finally, Lille edged past Valenciennes, 1-0, courtesy of an own goal from Jacques Abardonado in the 69th minute.
A late goal from Simone Inzaghi enabled Lazio to salvage a 1-1 draw against newcomer Lecce, equalizing Simone Tiribocchi's first-half opener.
Internazionale returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory against Bologna to join Lazio at the top of Serie A, with goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 25th minute and an Adriano penalty in the 49th. Vangelis Moras reduced the advantage seven minutes later.
Bochum added to the pressure of Jurgn Klinsmann by rallying for two late goals to secure a 3-3 tie against Bayern Munich.
Ze Roberto thought he had set his team on course for victory with goals in the 45th and 68th minutes. Bayern cruised toward a 3-1 victory, but Christoph Dabrowski got a goal back for Bochum in the 83rd minute before Dennis Grote struck the equalizer five minutes from time.
Earlier, Bochum's Sinan Kaloglu scored in the 29th minute to cancel out Daniel van Buyten's opener.
Surprise-package Hoffenheim moved into top spot after Bayer Leverkusen lost at home to Hertha Berlin and it heaped misery on under-fire Eintracht Frankfurt coach Friedhelm Funkel with a 2-1 victory.
An 89th-minute strike from Andriy Voronin was enough for Hertha to defeat Leverkusen 1-0.
Stuttgart is level on points and goal difference with Hoffenheim after it thrashed Werder Bremen 4-1 to climb up to second.
Borussia Monchengladbach lost 2-1 at home to Cologne.
© The Gazette (Montreal) 2008