Montreal Impact News Release - www.montrealimpact.com
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
TORONTO, ON -- The Montreal Impact rallied for a 1-1 draw in Toronto Tuesday night in front of 20,107 to win the inaugural edition of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship and earn a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League, joining fellow USL-1 side Puerto Rico in the debut of the competition this fall.
With a total of seven points – five for Toronto and four for Vancouver – the Impact also captured the Voyageurs Cup for the seventh consecutive year. Goalkeeper Matt Jordan was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
“The game tonight was a total team effort. We came here with one objective, which was to win that Cup,” said Jordan. “We came here to play and attack, not to sit back and wait. We went to the goal and we did a great job.”
Montreal Impact forward Roberto Brown scored the tying goal in the 26th minute of play. Brown headed a corner kick taken by midfielder Joey Gjertsen, beating goalkeeper Greg Sutton to the far post.
Toronto FC midfielder Rohan Ricketts opened the score in the 15th minute. Positioned deep in Montreal territory, midfielder Rohan Ricketts directed a header past Impact goalkeeper Matt Jordan thanks to a well-placed cross from TFC defender Jim Brennan.
“It did not take a long time to get back and tie the game, it made it easier for us,” said Impact head coach John Limniatis. “The tie tonight is a very positive result. I’m very proud of my players today because they are the ones who won the championship.”
“This cup is as important as the two playoff championships that we won in 1994 and 2004,” said veteran defender Nevio Pizzolitto. “Toronto FC was not in the Canadian championship in the past years so we had to prove to people that we were the best team in Canada and that’s what we did tonight”.
The Impact will play a home-and-home playoff series at the end of August and beginning of September versus the Nicaraguan champions. That series will determine which team advances to the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League.
The Impact will play its next regular season match on Friday night in Rochester against the Rhinos (8pm, FSW). Both teams will play a rematch at Saputo Stadium on Sunday (3:30 pm, CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990, USLlive.com).
31st minute – Impact midfielder Joey Gjertsen spun around to beat a Toronto FC defender and uncorked a low, powerful shot from about 20 metres out, just missing the goal to the right.
60th minute – After dribbling for several meters, Toronto FC midfielder Rohan Ricketts took a low shot from about 20 metres out, but Impact goalkeeper Matt Jordan made a diving save to his right.
60th minute – Positioned inside the Toronto penalty area, Impact striker Robert Brown took a pass from midfielder Leonardo Di Lorenzo, but deflected the one-timer just left of the Toronto net.