Montreal and Vancouver are into the final. There are some things to discuss.
MONTREAL 6:0 TORONTO
Goals: Justin Mapp 24', Daniele Paponi 33', Marco di Vaio 44', Andres Romero 61', Marco di Vaio 90', Andrew Wenger 90+
Headline: L'Impact écrase le TFC (Le Devoir)
We're a bilingual country. And because the French verb, écraser, is way more evocative than to crush.
A story in pictures
The real story was told this past Saturday, with demands from the hardcore supporters to take the competition seriously. I think they will have found their club to be in compliance with those demands.
One (okay, two) paragraph analysis
Montreal's supporters groups were not happy about the tepid effort their team put in last Wednesday at BMO Field. Marco Schallibaum fielded a less-than-full-strength squad, and those players who did see action did not seem interested in making a match of it. Some observers will look at this 6-0 scoreline and, with the benefit of hindsight, suggest that the teams' respective squad choices this week made a Montreal comeback all-but inevitable. That's bullshit. Toronto started Robert Earnshaw, and had exactly the same number of first-choice starters in defense that Montreal had (1 each). Perhaps the most important addition for Montreal was Andres Romero who had a goal and was, on the whole, excellent. But it was the Impact's other winger, Justin Mapp, that was the man of the match.
I was glad to see Montreal win. For maybe the first time since they won the cup in '08, the team appeared to give a shit. The message sent by the supporters was clearly received, no doubt reinforced by a tongue lashing from owner Joey Saputo. On the other hand, I was disappointed that Toronto's Canadian contingent put in such a poor showing. Like the week previous, the midfield pairing of Jonathan Osorio and Kyle Bekker had a slow start, but unlike last time they never were able to work themselves into the match. They were outclassed by Patrice Bernier and Davy Arnaud, but then so were Luis Silva and Jeremy Hall who entered as replacements. Doneil Henry earned a yellow and could easily have seen a second. And if you watch the video highlights of the six goals, you will see Ashtone Morgan making a critical mistake on nearly every one. For a team that entered the match clearly in the driver's seat, TFC seemed to give up ever so easily. Have they squandered any gains made in the early going under Nelsen?
Attendance check: 14,931 jubilant fans at Stade Saputo. From the very beginning, they were bringing it.
Canadian content report
There were six Canadians that featured on the day, and another, Wandrille Lefevre, who could well be on the path to citizenship. Lefevre, Maxim Tissot, and particularly Patrice Bernier were good for Montreal. No Toronto player can claim to have played well.
VANCOUVER 2:0 EDMONTON
Goals: Corey Hertzog 58', Shaun Saiko (o.g.) 67'
Ejections: Adrian LeRoy 51'
Headline: Whitecaps' rally and 3-2 win prevents embarrassing night in Edmonton (Vancouver Sun)
Headline selected only because, despite the 3-2 win, it ought to have been considered an embarassing night for one particular 2-goal Whitecaps forward.
In many ways, this match went much the same way as the previous encounter at Commonwealth. Edmonton defended well, were in the match, and then were undone by poor refereeing combined with a fitter and more talented opponent. Don't get me wrong: on the balance of play over two legs Vancouver were the better team and deserved to win. But Edmonton conceded two questionable goals in the first leg (a curious interpretation of the offside rule on one, an egregious Camilo dive for a penalty on another). In this match, the score was 0-0 until an incidental tangling of feet was adjudged to be a red-card offense by Edmonton defender Adrian LeRoy. Edmonton ought to take encouragement from their performance. After a slow start in the league they have delivered three straight creditable efforts, including their first NASL win of the season. Vancouver will be glad to advance to the final round without having to call upon too many of their starting players. The 5:2 aggregate close to what many had expected, but the manner of the victories tells a more complicated story.
Attendance check: 14,892 at BC Place
Canadian content report
Russell Teibert was man of the match for Vancouver, while Edmonton produced a total of 9 Canadian starters and subs.
|Marco di Vaio||Montreal||2|
2013.05.15: Vancouer at Montreal 7:45 pm et / 4:45 pm pt
There is a week off before the first leg of the final at Stade Saputo.
The contest standings have been updated.