Chris Austin-USA TODAY Sports
The start of Montreal Impact’s defence of their Canadian Championship didn’t go as planned as they allowed a late goal in extra time to fall 2-1 against FC Edmonton last night.
The Impact got off to a 1-0 lead when Jack McInerney scored in the game’s 56th minute. Edmonton came back with a goal by Tomi Ameobi in the 60th minute and allowed the winner in the 91st minute when Michael Nonni scored to give the win to Edmonton.
The Canadian Championships semi-final is a two-game aggregate. The second leg is next Wednesday, May 14 at Saputo Stadium.
Yesterday’s game kicked off a stretch of four games in 10 days for the Impact. Their next game is a home game against Sporting KC on Saturday, then the second leg of the aggregate and finishes off next Saturday when they go to Washington.
Several Impact starters didn’t play or even make the trip because of the busy schedule. Evan Bush was the goalkeeper, making his first appearance this season. Marco Di Vaio, Felipe Martins, Justin Mapp and Matteo Ferrari were among those not in the lineup. Goalkeeper Troy Perkins was dressed but not used.
“It was a difficult match, with the surface and other factors, but both teams had to deal with it,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. “We let in two unacceptable goals. We could have gone back home with a result, but now we have to regroup and take things one step at a time. There is still a game at home for us next Wednesday.”
“It’s obviously disappointing, especially to lose it on a simple mistake,” said McInerney. “But the positive thing is that we have the second leg at home. We can score a couple of goals and put them away. We wanted to control the game a little more, but I don’t think we transitioned from defence to offence well enough tonight.”
“We have to forget about this game, put it past us and focus on our next game,” said Impact captain Patrice Bernier. “They were good closing down the middle of the park. Now it’s up to us to make sure we put it away in the next game. We have a tough game on Saturday against Kansas City, but we are playing at home, both Saturday and Wednesday, so we can build on that to get results.”
The Impact were the favourite in this game, and will now need to win the return leg at home to advance to the championship. Toronto FC beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 in Toronto in the first leg of the other semi-final.