Thursday, March 05, 2009

Santos - Impact 2nd leg live blog!


5 March 2009

Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico
10 pm ET / 9 pm CT / 7 pm PT

Live on CBC Bold and
Other streaming options at rojadirecta and myp2p

The start of the match approaches, and the beer is on ice:
The weather in Torreon is a balmy 32 C, but expect that to cool off a bit as kick off draws closer.

I haven't found a source yet with lineups, but will scour occasionally over the next 2 hours as I anticipate the action. Like I did last week, I'll be following the action on Radio Canada (the French CBC). I just like those guys better.

As always, your predictions, analysis, and other reactions are welcome. Stuff the comments sections like it's the back of the ol' onion bag.

I won't be wagering this week, but I do like to look at the betting sites for an idea of how the match should go. Montreal is currently paying at 6.50x over at bwin, which suggests they are pretty confident in a Santos win. I actually expect Santos to win tonight, though am hopeful enough to peg the guess at a margin that would still put the Impact through. I'm pegging the final score at 1-0 for Santos.

Apparently the CBC is running their own live blog event for the match. I'm not quite sure what to make of this. It's a little disappointing, I suppose, as it will drive traffic away from this site. On the other hand, I can worry a little less about making reasoned observations about the match, and instead get a few beers in me and try to be a little more colourful. It's nice that they're paying attention, but it would be nicer to see this match get live coverage on the full network.

Line ups:

SANTOS: Oswaldo Sánchez, Osmar Mares, Rafael Figueroa, Juan Pablo Santiago, Iván Estrada, Juan Pablo Rodríguez, Daniel Ludueña, Walter Jiménez, Christian Jiménez, Vuoso, Benitez.

[h/t to benny in the comments.]

IMPACT: Matt Jordan, Kevin Sakuda, Cedric Jocqueviel, Nevio Pizzollito, Leonardo di Lorenzo, Stephen de Roux, Sandro Grande, David Testo, Joey Gjertsen, Roberto Brown, Eduardo Sebrango

[my best guess]

Braz and Placentino are both out injured. De Roux and Sakuda are the likeliest to take their place.

Referee is Roberto Moreno of Panama. I don't have any bad memories of this guy, but no good ones either.

Jason De Vos is on the CBC live blog, which makes it a little cooler than I thought at first. A few Jason nuggets:
The top USL teams could certainly handle themselves in the MLS.

I don't see how [Mitchell] can stay in the job, to be honest. He clearly doesn't have the support of the players any more, and once that happens it's always a difficult struggle for a manager.
I'll stay tuned, at least until the match starts. Weather shouldn't be a huge factor: benny / zapatoloco does his best Al Roker impression and predicts clear skies and 26 C at kick off. Good discussion going in the comments section today. I love it!

I'm on the French CBC feed now. I'll leave it to my readers to let me know whether the English feed is experiencing technical difficulties as was the case for the start of the 1st leg.
Gabe Gervais, in studio, confirms Sakuda in for Braz and Stephen de Roux in for Placentino. These are the only changes from last week's XI, so the lineups above should be correct.

1st minute: We're underway. These are going to be 90 nervous minutes, folks. Crowd looks solid, though not entirely full. A reminder - the goal is not to lose by 3.

Santos are pressure the Impact when they have the ball.

4th: First chance comes from a Santos corner, but Montreal clears. Les Ultras get a nice shout out for hanging their flags.

9th: So far, it's a reversal of last week's match. Montreal has had longer spells of possession, but Santos have looked more dangerous, including 2 corners so far.

Only 3 Canadians in the starting XI today: Pizzollito, Grande, and Sebrango.

11th: De Roux drags a guy down, and the Mexican haircut gets all frazzled because there was no yellow. The FK amounts to nothing. Now Sebrango and Santiago are getting into it.

After a positive opening spell, Montreal are sitting back now. It doesn't make me feel very comfortable. Sebrango had a nice run, but was defended well.

15th: Sakuda just got undressed by Benitez, and it nearly ended badly. Sakuda has looked OK coming forward, but I'm not sure he has the defensive qualities of Braz.

SHIT! Seemingly the first headed ball won by Santos in this series is headed in by Christian Benitez, who stuffs two soccer balls under his shirt for a pretty lame celebration. Sakuda abused on that one too. 1 - 0 SANTOS

17th: It looks like they can't handle Benitez today, which is a bad sign. He wins a corner from it. Nothing to report with that.

Montreal looks shaken. Only Sandro Grande really seems to be playing under control. Jordan was just forced to make a good save from a headed ball. What happened to the aerial domination from last week?

21st: De Roux has been poor so far.

24th: Just like in the first match, a FUCKING ENORMOUS "cafouillage" by the Santos defense. A ball was passed almost directly to Brown, who takes the gift and scores. 1-1! Santos need to score 4 goals!

What a huge cock-up by the Santos central defense. Again!

28th: The play has evened a bit since the goal. De Roux just got a warning. I'd keep that guy on a short leash tonight.

In the comments: "my cock is up if you know what I mean"... Amen!

Nevio just saved the day after Jocqueviel (?) guessed the wrong way on a Christian Benitez move. Montreal are under siege again, with Luduena pulling all the strings.

33rd: Oh no you didn't! Dirty Sanchez, the Santos keeper, is coming out. The play-by-play guy suggests maybe it's an injury to his "orgueil" (ego/pride). SNAP!

37th: Santos get back to back corners. The second results in a Jordan save. I'm still nervous as shit, folks!

40th: OMFG! SEBRANGO!!!! A nice little three way action between Brown, Gjertsen and Sebrango ends with big Eddie slotting it home. Lazy marking playing the Montreal players onside helped. 2 -1 IMPACT!!!!

Gjertsen made a great play. The announcers are getting ahead of themselves, booking their tickets for the next round.

Now Jordan just had to make a save. Get to halftime with this score, please.

Brillant is on for De Roux now. Maybe it's a bit early, but Stephen has been crap.

43rd: Nearly a cafouillage in front of Jordan this time. Some head tennis, and a few wild kicks at the ball. Get to half time. Please.

The fans call for a handball every time a defender wins the ball. Seriously. Are you going to be that kind of Mexicans? The haircut (Estrada) waves his imaginary yellow card for the second time tonight. He is wrong, of course.

45th: 2 minutes of time added on. The announcers are talking themselves down a bit, reminding us that 45 minutes is a long time. I don't think Santos will score 4 in the 2nd half, but as a Canadian soccer fan, nothing would surprise me.

HALF TIME: Smoke 'em if you got 'em, folks. Get the heart rate down a bit.

It's 2-1 for Montreal (4-1 on aggregate) with goals from Brown and Sebrango. Montreal was outplayed, I won't deny it, but they have the lead. The have been opportunistic throughout this whole series.

Watching the highlights, 2 things jump out at me:
  • The error on the 1st Impact goal was made by a midfielder and a defender, not two defenders.
  • The 2nd goal was de très haute qualité: Gjertsen made a great turn on the ball, and Sebrango's finish, beginning with his back to goal, was clinical.
Gervais does a nice job in studio.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the guys are killing it in the comments section:
SSReporters: Whoa, the backup goalkeeper ate too many Churros.
SSReporters: Fun Fact: The Santos Laguna backup goalkeeper holds the record for most appearances..... at the buffet.
squizz: This new keeper looks like he should be wearing a floral shirt and playing a ukulele.
Even Gabe and the other studio suit got in a few digs about the backup's well-rounded physique.

They're talking about the absence of Braz now, and as much as it pains me to say it, Montreal misses him.

46th: We're live in the 2nd half. Updates may be a bit sparse this half as I try to avoid being struck down by a coronary at far too young an age.

Already a shot from Luduena 40 seconds in.

48th: Moreno does a nice job, allowing a long advantage for showing yellow to Jimenez for a foul on Roberto Brown. He's been alright, this ref (knocks wood).

Montreal is living dangerously right now. As much as that is possible, when your only job is not to allow 4 goals.

53rd: First, Brown falls down in the area and pretends that he was fouled. Not likely.

Then, Santos scores at the other end. Poor communication, and a loose ball in the area is pounded in. 2-2 (4-2 on aggregate).

Moments later, Santos hits the post.

Sebrango has dropped into midfield. If he stays there, it's only a matter of time until he is taken off for a more defensive player, especially when you consider he is on a yellow.

60th: 30 minutes left. Santos need to score 3 goals. I'm still worried. Testo gets a good shot in that is saved by the Michelin Man.

Vuoso, he of the mullet, scored the 2nd goal for Santos.

62nd: Grande gets up in the grill of #10, and draws a yellow card. Luduena, I think. I love Grande.

Now Moreno is giving it to the Santos bench. This ref is tops!

65th: Santos clearly have the upper hand right now, but it also appears that they are coming unglued. Losing their cool, spraying passes around to nobody in particular. Under a half hour left.

Vuoso nearly scores, Pizz clears. Corner. Jordan saves from the first corner. Now another. The second is cleared.

70th: Just about left a little brown in the shorts. Santos scored, but it was quickly waved off for offside. The problem was a very poor headed clearance after a corner.

Settle down, Impact! Grande knows the drill. He makes the right pass every time. It's only when his teammates stop running that they don't connect. Now another pair of corners for Santos. They're sure taking them quick.

74th: OK, I hate Mexicans, especially in soccer. But that was a nice goal. Quintero. Montreal is still in control, but not by much. 3-2 SANTOS (4-3 Montreal on aggregate, Santos needs 2 more).

88th: OK, we experienced some technical difficulties there. More accurately, emotional ones. Some stuff happened in the intervening minutes, but I'm not sure what. Probably some substitutions. I took a Letterman break. Just as I return, a great chance for Santos is blocked at the last minute by Montreal. Maybe I should take off for a few more minutes.

90+: Braz is in and just made a block. 4 minutes of extra time.

Maybe I'm jinxing it, but it looks like the air has gone out of Santos. 2 minutes.

FUCK. I jinxed it. Benitez. 4-2, 4-4 on agg, Montreal can't allow a goal in the next 2.


Goodnight everyone.


Sam said...

I'll be on here tonight - screw the cbc :)

SSReporters said...

I must say, you're absolutely spoiled in Canada.

I've been rooting for Montreal the entire way (even as a TFC fan) because who doesn't love a good story to build up Canadian soccer?

I hope you realize that the Fox Soccer Channel is airing this match and that's it. No online coverage and no repeat on Fox Sports Net of FOX-TV later that night.

You're getting it on CBC Bold,, a LIVE BLOG on their site for those who can't watch, and a repeat immediately following the conclusion of the match on CBC's main network.

Please don't complain about it when you have more coverage for one team than we in the US do for the entire tournament.

I had to get that rant out of the way, now let's enjoy the match and GO IMPACT!

J said...

Thanks for providing a little bit of perspective. I'm actually a big fan of the CBC in general, and they have done a better job than the sports-only networks (TSN, Sportsnet, the Score) at promoting the game in Canada.

SSReporters said...

I would however like to know why CBC isn't putting out their schedule for the Toronto FC matches when the MLS season starts in 2 weeks. ;-)

benny said...


Starting lineup for Santos:

Oswaldo Sánchez, Osmar Mares, Rafael Figueroa, Juan Pablo Santiago, Iván Estrada, Juan Pablo Rodríguez, Daniel Ludueña, Walter Jiménez, Christian Jiménez, Vuoso, Benitez.

This is consistent with declarations by coach Guzman that he will be fielding the same XI that faced Necaxa on Sunday but would be starting Vuoso instead of Quintaro.

Sam said...

Sure the CBC is better than sportsnet and tsn, but we shouldn't we settle for the minimum here. I mean a game in Canada with an attendance of 55000 people would get on any other cable station, but with football it's just brushed aside, and put on some obscure channel. Is CBC the biggest problem? no. But Should we settle for it? no.

benny said...

Braz seems to have a groin problem and Sakuda may start in his place.

According to an interview erlier today on RDS


SSReporters said...

I somewhat believe that if Toronto FC had won the championship (JEFF CUNNINGHAM!!!!!!!!!!!) that CBC would've aired a game like this.

I'd just like to tell you guys that the CBC will overload you with soccer so don't be pissed.

How about the FIFA Confederations Cup? What about the Canadian Champions League? What about Toronto FC matches?

What about airing every match of the World Cup next year?

Name me a channel in the US that is not ESPN that would do that.

benny said...

Should be Clear skies and 26 degrees at kickoff.

Sam said...

Prediction: 2-1 Santos

SSReporters said...

I'm going Santos 2 Montreal 1.

SSReporters said...

Stop reading my mind Sam. ;-)

Sam said...

two minutes till kick off :)

SSReporters said...

Yo Sam, skip the CBC and find the Fox Soccer Channel feed.

Try not to commit random acts of violence listening to our announcers.

I kept looking and found no Ricardo Brown on Montreal's side.

Sam said...

I can't remember every being so excited to watch a Canadian club game on TV!!!

Sam said...

SSR - I dished out $2.50 to buy CBC bold to watch this game, and the quality is terrible...

SSReporters said...

The FSC announcers reminded us there is no golden goal.

They got rid of that rule 5 years ago!

Meanwhile, decent chance by Montreal after a nervy start at the back.

Sam said...

I love the way that there are about 5 security guys surrounding the 4 ultras there.

SSReporters said...

As long as Benito Archundia is the referee!

Too soon?

Don't worry, I thought that was a goal too.

Sam said...

Sebrango has a Canadian citizenship but has played for Cuba internationally...

SSReporters said...

Montreal doesn't seem to be wanting to play everyone back, looking to attack and get the away goal that would kill it.

SSReporters said...

All the movement breaks down in the final third....

And Roberto Brown is horrible.

SSReporters said...


Sam said...


SSReporters said...

Of COURSE it's Benitez.

Poor marking and lackadaisical defending.

SSReporters said...

Alright Montreal, time to attack now!

squizz said...

What the fuck was that Santos free kick all about?

SSReporters said...

I have lost a whole lot of faith in Montreal all of a sudden.

If they play like this then they'll get eaten up.

Anonymous said...

Eat my dick.

SSReporters said...

Is Montreal even comfortable with the pitch surface?

Sam said...


SSReporters said...


squizz said...

Holyyyyyy shit!

J said...

I'm having trouble keeping up with it all, but good job in here guys.


Anonymous said...

my cock is up if you know what i mean.

SSReporters said...

"He's got his left leg..left arm back." - Brian Dunphy or something like that on FSC talking about Benitez

Don't complain about the CBC. ;-)

Sam said...

Sanchez off - :( he was so good in Montreal :P

SSReporters said...

Whoa, the backup goalkeeper ate too many Churros.

SSReporters said...

Who the heck missed that man completely unmarked?

SSReporters said...

Fun Fact: The Santos Laguna backup goalkeeper holds the record for most appearances..... at the buffet.

squizz said...

This new keeper looks like he should be wearing a floral shirt and playing a ukulele.

SSReporters said...

IT IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!!


Sam said...


SSReporters said...

This has been a fun half of football....

P said...

My pulse hasn't raced like this since the Canada-Brazil friendly last summer. Nice to see a horrifying back pass go our way this time.

Joe Ross said...

I totally love how that little erik estrada bitch kept Sebrango's goal onside

SSReporters said...


Oh well....

Roberto Brown's face after not getting the penalty was hilarious.

SSReporters said...

Does Montreal WANT to win?

squizz said...

Now playing striker for the Impact: Macaulay Culkin.

In seriousness though, if Brown had coated his shoes in caramel, that keeper would have brought him down, no question.

SSReporters said...

This goalkeeper could clean out Tim Horton's.

SSReporters said...

This FSC guy keeps announcing Gjertsen's name as if it rhymes with Kirsten.

squizz said...

Is "Pizz" really the best truncation of Nevio's name? It sounds too similar to the contents of the bags that'll be thrown on the field at the end of this game.

SSReporters said...

Montreal's gonna blow it.

Footie Fool said...

Man, hope any Impact fans that travelled to the game have an armed escort to get out.

SSReporters said...

It's over.

Canada will never succeed in soccer.

This is awful.

squizz said...

holy fucking shit...

Joe Ross said...

Well that fucking sucked.

Footie Fool said...

Fuck. Really, just fuck.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha.... to hear you all delight in a mistake by Santos only to queer it all up in the last minute--what a bunch of cock-ups you all turned out to be....

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Mexico... Suck it Canada!!

Never count out a Mexican!

squizz said...

^ Enjoy that martial law, champ.

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