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Played
May 15, 2013 7:30 PM EDT
Stade Saputo — Montreal, Quebec
Referee:‬ S. Petrescu‎
Attendance:‬ 12016‎
 

Montreal 0-0 Vancouver: Whitecaps hang on for scoreless draw

In a spirited but ultimately toothless first leg of the Canadian Championship final, Montreal was thwarted by a staunch Vancouver defence to set up an all-or-nothing series finale.

By Rudi Schuller

Jeb Brovsky - Montreal Impact; Alain Rochat - Vancouver Whitecaps
Getty Images
A feisty Canadian Championship first leg between the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps ended in a 0-0 draw on Wednesday, as neither side was able to find the net on a chilly night at Stade Saputo.

A very slow start saw both teams play tentatively for most of the opening 20 minutes, as neither side was particularly adventurous from the outset. That changed as play got stretched, and it was Montreal that managed to break into the attacking third first.

Marco Di Vaio registered the game's first clear opportunity at the 19 minute mark, but his effort from just outside the Vancouver area was parried away by Whitecaps goalkeeper Brad Knighton. Four minutes later, Patrice Bernier let loose a long-range blast that had Knighton beaten but glanced just wide of the post.

Not to be outdone, the 'Caps got into the act just after the half hour mark when Alain Rochat -- playing in a far more advanced role than usual -- got on the end of an Impact turnover and fired a hard shot that was handled well by Montreal netminder Evan Bush.

On the ensuing corner kick, a goalmouth scramble saw several Whitecaps lunge at the teasingly bouncing ball in the Montreal penalty area, the Impact eventually cleared after a brief pinball session that probably should have resulted in a goal for the visitors.

The sudden end-to-end nature of the match also brought with it some chippiness, as bodies clanged into one another all over the pitch. Head referee Silviu Petrescu judged the home side the guiltier of the two teams, showing yellow cards to three different Impact players in the opening half.

Despite the quicker pace to end the first 45 minutes, the score remained 0-0 through to the halftime whistle. Though the Impact had their chances, they could consider themselves lucky to get to the break on level terms, as Vancouver had better quality looks at Bush's goal and was the more threatening of the two teams to close out the first half.

The Impact started the second half with a lot more urgency than they had in much of the opening 45 minutes, but it didn't amount to much as Vancouver absorbed any pressure that the home side could apply.

The Whitecaps defensive stance in the second half proved exceedingly frustrating for Montreal, but the home side finally got a great look on goal in the 75th minute through Jeb Brovsky. The right-sided player found space to send a cross to Di Vaio, but the Italian's shot was blocked by Whitecaps defender Andy O'Brien.

The Impact looked to have a shout for a handball on the play, but no call was made. Either way, it stood out as the best chance of the night for Montreal, as the hosts had no real answer for the 'Caps defence to that point.

The final 10 minutes were all one-way traffic, as Montreal threw everything at the visitors, but the Whitecaps were steadfast in clearing their lines and riding out the danger with each wave. The risky strategy by the 'Caps paid off in the end as Petrescu blew the final whistle to a chorus of boos at Stade Saputo.

With the scoreless deadlock in the books, the focus will shift back to MLS play until the two teams meet again in the second leg on May 29. The winner of that game will lift the Voyageurs Cup and represent Canada in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League.

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Montreal Impact

30
Evan Bush
Goalkeeper
 - 
5
Jeb Brovsky
Midfielder
 - 
6
Hassoun Camara
Defender
25′
 - 
-
 - 
13
Matteo Ferrari
Defender
 - 
8
Patrice Bernier
Midfielder
 - 
18
Collen Warner
Midfielder
31′ 62′
 - 
21
Justin Mapp
Midfielder
 - 
9
Marco Di Vaio
Striker
33′
 - 
15
 - 
33
A. Wenger
Striker
81′
 - 

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

 - 
18
Brad Knighton
Goalkeeper
 - 
2
 - 
-
Brad Rusin
Defender
 - 
4
 - 
16
J. Leverón
Defender
 - 
40
 - 
20
 - 
28
Gershon Koffie
Midfielder
 - 
31
 - 
29
Matthew Watson
Midfielder
 - 
11

Substitutes

1
Troy Perkins
Goalkeeper
 - 
34
 - 
7
Felipe Martins
Midfielder
62′
 - 
11
Sanna Nyassi
Midfielder
 - 
55
 - 
19
Blake Smith
Midfielder
72′
 - 
-
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
-
Joe Cannon
Goalkeeper
 - 
12
 - 
-
Jun Davidson
Midfielder
 - 
19
 - 
23
 - 
-
 - 
-

Coach/Manager

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Coach/Manager

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  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
1st Leg
Times In EDT