Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Voyageurs Cup Matchday 3 Report

Just the facts:
Scoring Summary:
1' - VAN - Marcus Haber (Gordon Chin)
17' - VAN - Charles Gbeke (Takashi Hirano)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.Jay Nolly; 6.Wesley Charles, 8.Wes Knight, 22.Takashi Hirano, 27.Jeff Parke (4.Justin Thompson 30'); 7.Martin Nash, 16.Ansu Toure (12.Geordie Lyall 71'), 20.Ethan Gage, 28.Gordon Chin (19.Justin Moose 58'); 14.Marcus Haber, 98.Charles Gbeke

Montreal Impact
1.Matt Jordan; 2.Kevin Sakuda, 3.Adam Braz, 5.Nevio Pizzolitto, 25.Zanzan Atte-Oudeyi (23.Stephen deRoux 60'); 8.Sandro Grande, 9.Rocco Placentino (28.Peter Byers 76'), 17.Joey Gjertsen (21.Felix Brillant 70'), 24.Simon Gatti; 10.Roberto Brown, 12.Eduardo Sebrango

Stupid headline: Impact math challenged
It's not such a stupid headline, but it is a little puzzling until you realize that it refers to the Impact's dwindling mathematical chances at repeating as Voyageurs Cup holders and Nutrilite Canadian Champions.

Marcus Haber vs Adam Braz, a story in pictures:

Haber gets free . . .

but Braz always wins in the end.

Two paragraph analysis
I feel like there's a lot to write about this time. From a neutral's perspective (OK, I'm nominally supporting the Whitecaps) this match, and especially the first half, was the most exciting action of the tournament to date. The Vancouver goals were both well taken, and the Whitecaps were up 2-0 before Montreal even seemed to take an interest in the match. I don't know enough of the science of goaltending to say whether Montreal keeper Matt Jordan should have gotten to either Haber's or Gbeke's goal, but he did redeem himself later on with an excellent save from Justin Moose. Jordan's counterpart, Vancouver's Jay Nolly, did one better by completing a clean sheet, while facing a barrage of chances in the late first half and throughout the second.

Montreal was probably unlucky not to score, hitting three crossbars in the first half alone. At the same time, Vancouver defended well in the second half, and did the right thing by sitting back and not getting caught too often too far up the field, once they had taken their lead. Vancouver's defensive ride sight (mainly Wes Knight) was taken advantage of a bit in the second half, but it was a bend-not-break philosophy that got the needed result. It was a good approach for an away team. Despite all the near misses for Montreal, Vancouver deserved to win, just like they were the better opposition for Toronto in the first two matches. They are the 'non-Toronto' choice for this year's V-Cup.

One (or two) sentence thoughts
  • I'll take this French announcer pairing, with their lame "Justin Moose, cousin of chocolate mousse" jokes and hockey analogies, over Gerry Dobson/Craig Forrest or Nigel Reed/Jason de Vos. They are really nails.
  • Marcus Haber's goal in the 1st minute was the quickest ever in NCC competition and the first (and only, to date) scored by a Canadian-born Canadian. (Nash, Harmse, and Gbeke are born elsewhere).
  • Tonight I have no qualms about saying it: Gjertsen and Sakuda, two of Montreal's Americans, were pretty bad again, though Gjertsen's night would have looked a lot better had the shot he smashed off the crossbar ('le fameux transversale') gone in.
  • The ref, Steven del Piero of Toronto, had a rough night, missing some obvious calls, but nothing as controversial as penalty claims or dubious offside calls.
  • Montreal's defense was carved up on both Vancouver goals. It shouldn't come as a surprise, with centre backs #2 and #3, Stefano Pesoli and Cedric Jocqueviel, out injured and Adam Braz deputizing (and the ineffectual Sakuda taking Braz' spot at RB).
  • Montreal continued to miss Leo di Lorenzo, though I think Zanzan was a bright spot until he was substituted.
  • Roberto Brown missed a free header in the second half that can only be described as Chad Barrett-esque.

Bonus video archive info
If you missed the match or would like to watch it again, you can watch an archived version of the match with the Radio Canada commentary. Simply click here, and find the "Web diffusion: à revoir" section, and press play on the Vancouver - Montreal match.

Canadian content report

Montreal started 6 Canadians and Vancouver 5, with a few more entering the game as substitutes. I thought the young Canadians for Vancouver, Haber and Gage, acquitted themselves quite well. It was also nice to see both goals scored by Canadian players. 3 of the 4 goals scored in Voyageurs Cup play this season have been scored by Canadians, with Chad Barrett providing the lone foreign goal.

There was also the occasional all-Canadian tractor-pull foot-race between the not-exactly-fleet-footed Charles Gbeke, and the unsvelte Adam Braz.

Adam Braz 90
Nevio Pizzolitto 90
Simon Gatti 90
Sandro Grande 90
Eduardo Sebrango 90
Rocco Placentino 76
Felix Brillant 20
Total Mins 546

Ethan Gage 90
Martin Nash 90
Charles Gbeke 90
Marcus Haber 90
Justin Thompson 60
Gordon Chin 58
Geordie Lyall 19
Total Mins 497

The pool report
Today's result should not have come as a surprise to those who have followed the two clubs in USL-1 play this season, or who watched the two teams match up against Toronto FC, but it certainly caught most pool participants off guard. Only two readers predicted a Vancouver win, with Scott Hegedus' prediction of a 2-1 scoreline coming the closest.

Lucky Strike sits alone in the lead for the Nutrilite Canadian Championship Pool:

Difference Entries
2 Lucky Strike
3 M@, squizz, Nuvinho, 3LionRoar
4 Kevin Elder, zeelew, Elvis, Kevin Rollins, Joe Soccer Fan, Scott Hegedus
5 P, Duane Rollins, Rob, dyslexic nam, Joe Ross, PhilD, Simon B, Matt John Gregg, coxon
6 J, Dan, Serie_AHH,
7 Sam, Lord Bob, Headhunting Canuck
8 maxg, vweyonlah
9 nobuzz


Team W D L Pts
Toronto FC 2
0 0 6
Vancouver Whitecaps
1 0 1
Montreal Impact 0 0

Player Team Goals
Kevin Harmse Toronto
Chad Barrett
Marcus Haber
Charles Gbeke

Next match: 27 May 2009: Montreal Impact @ Vancouver Whitecaps


Anonymous said...

Martin Nash was born in Regina...his brother was born in South Africa

J said...

I stand corrected. I must have visited a site with some bad info.

Anonymous said...

Great Page!

Tailors Toronto