Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Waiting for Honduras 2: Making an Impact

Sorry for the title. I mean, how lazy of me to make a pun on the name of a professional sports team. I wonder what percentage of headlines about teams like the Minnesota Wild, Tampa Bay Lightning, Miami Heat, or Montreal Impact include puns on the name of the team. 15%? 30%?

But I digress. While the Honduras national team will be making their way this week to Montreal for a game of footie, the Montreal Impact or going the other way. In fact, they are in Comayagua, Honduras, tonight, to play a team from Nicaragua. Go figure. (The official explanation is that the stadium in Esteli is too ghetto for CONCACAF, which really must hurt.)

Anyway, since this match involves the city of Montreal and the country of Honduras, it fits nicely into our theme for this week (hyping Canada's match this Saturday with Honduras at Stade Saputo in Montreal at 8pm ET), we'll be having a little liveblog. Not sure what it will entail, but I'll be watching the match, drinking, and sharing my thoughts, such as they are.

Some preliminary details:

Concacaf Champions League Knockout Stage
MONTREAL IMPACT AT REAL ESTELI FC (NICARAGUA)

Comayagua, Honduras
2 September 2008
10 pm ET / 9 pm CT / 7 pm PT

Live on CBC Bold
Internet: CBC Sports.ca :: Radio-Canada.ca

The Impact are in the driver's seat, having won the first leg 1-0 last Wednesday at Saputo. Stay tuned.

3 minutes in . . . It looks like there is a small but vocal contingent of Esteli fans that made the journey across the border to Comayagua. Nigel and Jason are doing the broadcast from a studio in Toronto.

Which reminds me: Did anybody catch the segment on The National yesterday about the match-fixing allegations at the 2006 World Cup? It cleary implied that our boy Nigel Reid was some sort of football expert, by cutting to an interview with him after mentioning something about "soccer experts". What besides his British accent makes him deserving of that title?

HALF TIME: That's the kind of match is been. I've got nothing really to say. The game is dull, though neither team is a poor as Toronto FC was last week. Esteli had a shot go off the crossbar and their supporters got their boners in a knot for a bit when their side strung together 10 or 11 consecutive passes, none of which crossed over the halfway line into the attacking half. Montreal clearly is the better team but isn't pressing enough for my liking.

I want them to win, of course, but I think I'll leave this game for a while and spend the next hour or so watching the righteous indignation of Mike Holmes.


In case you've been sitting by your computer for the last 18 hours hitting refresh . . . I should bring this so-called live blog to a close. The match ended 1-1. The match wasn't great, but the Impact should be congratulated for getting the job done. In the group stage, to be played over September and October, they have been drawn with Joe Public (Trinidad & Tobago), Club Deportivo Olimpia (Honduras), and Atlante FC (Mexico).

A photo from last week. Apparently the no news service sent a photographer to yesterday's match.

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