MONTREAL, QUE – Vancouver Whitecaps FC will face a must-win situation next week at BC Place after falling 1-0 to Montreal Impact on Wednesday in the first leg of the Canadian Championship semifinal at Stade Saputo.
Alejandro Silva scored the only goal of the game in the 58th minute, finishing with his left foot from the top of the box after a nice passing sequence from the Impact.
Montreal’s Anthony Jackson-Hamel also hit the woodwork twice on the evening, heading a Daniel Lovitz cross off the post in the first half and striking the bar on a curling effort in the second.
The ‘Caps weren't without their chances in this one.
Anthony Blondell got into some dangerous areas in the early going, Cristian Techera sent a cross off the far post in the 33rd minute, and Nicolas Mezquida curled a 20-yard free kick just wide right early in the second half.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson started a completely different XI after the weekend’s defeat at D.C. United, including a return to action for goalkeeper Stefan Marinović and a first-team debut for Homegrown midfielder David Norman Jr.
Marinović, who missed 10 straight matches with a knee sprain, looked his confident self between the posts. The New Zealand international was credited with three saves, including a diving stop on a Saphir Taïder header in the 63rd minute.
Norman Jr., who joined fellow midfielder Russell Teibert and left back Brett Levis as the three Canadians in Vancouver’s starting lineup, played 71 minutes in his debut and did not look out of place.
The ‘Caps will look to overturn the one-goal deficit next Wednesday, when they host Montreal in the second leg of the semifinal at BC Place (7 p.m. PT – tickets still available). A ‘Caps victory by at least two goals would secure Vancouver’s berth in the tournament final, a 1-0 ‘Caps victory would send the match to extra time, and any other result would see Montreal advance.
Whitecaps FC return to MLS play on Saturday, facing rivals Seattle Sounders FC in their first Cascadia Cup derby of the season. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. PT from CenturyLink Field (TSN1 and TSN 1040).
58’ – MTL – Alejandro Silva (Saphir Taïder)
Possession: MTL 54.8% – VAN 45.2%
Shots: MTL 13 – VAN 9
Shots on Goal: MTL 4 – VAN 1
Saves: MTL 1 – VAN 3
Fouls: MTL 19 – VAN 12
Offsides: MTL 1 – VAN 1
Corners: MTL 2 – VAN 3
Duels won: MTL 51 – VAN 64
Tackles won: MTL 8 – VAN 16
41’ – VAN – David Norman Jr.
87’ – VAN – Brek Shea
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.Stefan Marinović; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 66.Aly Ghazal, 22.Aaron Maund, 46.Brett Levis (7.Bernie Ibini 73’); 13.Cristian Techera, 31.Russell Teibert, 24.David Norman Jr. (3.Sean Franklin 71’), 20.Brek Shea; 11.Nicolás Mezquida; 9.Anthony Blondell (19.Erik Hurtado 59’)
Substitutes not used
39.Sean Melvin, 45.Myer Bevan, 65.Michael Baldisimo, 67.Alphonso Davies
23.Clement Diop; 24.Michael Petrasso (22.Jukka Raitala 38’), 2.Victor Cabrera, 4.Rudy Camacho, 3.Daniel Lovitz; 13.Ken Krolicki, 6.Samuel Piette, 8.Saphir Taïder (29.Mathieu Choinière 86’); 9.Alejandro Silva, 11.Anthony Jackson-Hamel (10.Ignacio Piatti 71’), 16.Jeisson Vargas
Substitutes not used
41.James Pantemis, 15.Rod Fanni, 21.Matteo Mancosu, 28.Shamit Shome