Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Santos Laguna - Montreal Impact: Wednesday Preview

Down Mexico way


The second leg of the Montreal-Santos CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal goes tomorrow. Montreal won the first leg 2-0, so any of the following results puts them through:
  • a win, by any score
  • a draw, by any score
  • any two goal loss in which they score a goal (3-1, 4-2, etc.)
A 2-0 loss in Torreon, of course, would result in overtime and potentially a penalty shootout.

I've being fooling around a bit with Google News Mexico to see what the press are saying. Not sure exactly, maybe a few of my readers can fill me in. I know from this article that Santos are known as an offensive team when playing at home, and they hope to fill nearly all of the 20,000 seats at their stadium.

The Montreal Gazette has a nice feature today on Eddie Sebrango. Sebrango seems like a thoughftul enough guy, and has a few nice lines about his contributions to Montreal's success:
Eduardo Sebrango began his second stint with the Impact in November, but he likes to think he's had a hand in the club's magical journey to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals almost from the start.

"I did help," Sebrango, 35, said with a laugh. "I scored two goals [for Vancouver] against Toronto in the second game we played them (a 2-2 tie July 10). If we lost that game, the Impact would have needed more than a tie in their second game against Toronto to move on."
The interesting detail is that the reporter hints that fellow striker Roberto Brown and Sebrango are both expected to play. Some commenters, bloggers, fans, etc., had been expecting a more defensive line-up, such as a 4-5-1. This paragraph indicates otherwise:
Sebrango expects Santos Laguna to pay more attention to him and Brown in the return leg of the total-goals series because the Mexicans need to score at least three more goals than the Impact to advance to the semifinals.
In order to retain a share of USL bragging rights, Montreal will need to advance, since the Puerto Rico Islanders advanced on aggregate 3-1 over Marathon of Honduras, after a 1-0 win in Honduras tonight. With Houston crashing out yesterday after a 3-0 loss at Atlante, now might be a good time to review some of the data in this MLS vs USL analysis.

Radio-Canada's preview has the details on likely lineups:
« On ne s'attend pas à beaucoup de changements dans leur formation, mais les joueurs du Santos Laguna vont probablement montrer plus d'énergie puisqu'ils vont jouer à domicile. »
[...]
Si tout est prêt sur le plan stratégique, quelques changements sont à prévoir au chapitre des effectifs.

Le milieu Rocco Placentino est blessé à l'aine et devra vraisemblablement céder sa place de titulaire à Stephen DeRoux. Celui-ci s'est d'ailleurs acquitté de ses tâches de substitut au match aller, bien servi par son flair offensif.

De son côté, Patrick Leduc est toujours ralenti par une blessure au pied et ne retrouvera pas sa place en zone médiane avant quelques semaines.
For those of you who didn't pay attention in French class, the quote from Limniatis says he doesn't expect many changes to the Santos lineup, but does expect them to have a little more energy playing at home.

For Montreal, Placentino is out injured. Stephen De Roux, who was useful in the half-hour he played as a sub last Wednesday, is expected to get the start in his place. Patrick Leduc will not be available Thursday, and is not expected back for a few weeks.

Your options for watching the match Thursday night:
  • CBC Bold, 10 pm ET. Available for digital cable subscribers only.
  • CBCSports.ca, 10 pm ET. Live internet stream
  • Local CBC affiliate. Tape delay at midnight local
  • Check Rojadirecta and myp2p closer to game time for other online streaming video.
  • Radio-Canada.ca will have the match live, in French, on its website. They have also taken the strange decision to show the second half of the match live on the SRC television network (CAUTION: In some regions all programming on SRC affiliates is delayed by an hour)
In order to supplement your viewing experience, be sure to keep hammering the refresh button on the live blog, which should be up and running beginning 20 or 30 minutes before the match.

The betting lines have the Impact as major underdogs (most sites paying in the area of 5-6x for an Impact win), which probably isn't too far off base. I'll go out on a limb and make prediction, just like I did last week where I bet on a draw. No betting this week, but I'll say the final is 1-0 Santos, so Montreal advances on aggregate.

Some of you, like me, are just killing to until the match begins. If you're one of those people, you can knock off another 3 minutes by checking out this CCL goal compilation from the CBC. There's two or three Impact goals in there (any readers want to catalogue those for me, referencing the match and date?) and one or two against. Most impressive, to me, was a back heel shot off a corner kick.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

i absolutly agree on your prediction 1-0 the goal will be scored either in the very begining of the game or at the very end. of course i hope you are wrong and that the impact do win.

Anonymous said...

About the mexican media:

Tons of press this time 'round compared to barely a peep for the first leg.

They're all basically reporting the same thing:

Santos coach "El Travieso" (the tricky one)Guzman will be fielding his best eleven and going all out for the win: Benitez and Vuoso up front, Luduena will start but he will be resting Carlos Darwin Quintero.


Zapatoloco