Toronto FC have been eliminated from the Voyageurs Cup with a whimper, and what a boring whimper it was. By winning 1-0 at home the Montreal Impact have become the Canadian Champions for the second straight year, and will now advance to the CONCACAF Champions League. The first leg in Toronto finished 1-1.
Felipe had the goal for the Impact in second half injury time after a shot from Marco Di Vaio hit the crossbar. Evan Bush kept the clean sheet for the homeside, aided by the post which kept out a goal from Jonathan Osorio.
We'll have a full analysis of this match up soon. For now, enjoy the 'highlights' and just remember that the club doesn't have to expose their hamstrings to Central American pitches this year, which isn't a bad thing.
MTL- Felipe (Di Vaio) 90'+1
MTL- Bernadello (Caution) 4'
MTL- Martins (Caution) 90+2'
Score (On Aggregate):
1-1 (1st leg)- BMO Field
1-0 Montreal Impact (2nd Leg)- Stade Saputo
2-1 Montreal Impact (Agg.) - Final
Toronto FC- Bendik, Bloom, Caldwell, Henry, Morrow, Rey (De Rosario 74'), Hall (Osorio 67'), Bekker, Lovitz (Gilberto 55'), Defoe, Moore
Unused Subs: Konopka, Morgan, Hagglund, Wiedeman,
Montreal Impact- Bush, Camara, Pearce, Lefevre, Ouimette, Mapp (Felipe 60'), Bernier, Bernardello, Romero (Tissot 88'), Di Vaio, McInerney (Mallace 75')
Unused Subs: Perkins, Ferrari, Lopez, Gonzalez
RYAN NELSEN - HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC
On the performance...
I thought it was really good, especially when you use so many young players. We did that in both legs, especially in the midfield. We gave them the opportunity to play, and they did very well. Today, we couldn't get that goal. We had nice moments of play, but we just couldn't get that break. If we got that goal, things would have changed. I think that pretty much sums things up. When we pushed 10 guys forward at the end, they got us on the counter. I wish Montreal all the best.
On starting a young midfield...
As a manager, you have to think not only just about today, but the future as well. Last year, we came here with a young team that gone torn apart. Now, I sit here with a young team that played both legs and I think we deserved to win, so imagine what happens next year, and the next year after that. This is great experience for these young players, and next year will be even better. I trust my squad and I think we could have had this tournament. The blessing in disguise is that our young guys got experience and we can focus on one thing. We have a heavy schedule coming up and with the CCL, it would have been really tough. Don't get me wrong, I really wanted to win, but sometimes you have to look at the positives.
Did your travel troubles way in on your performance...
No, no excuses. That didn't play any part. Was it ideal, no, but it didn't make any difference. We are professionals we deal with it and move on.
FRANK KLOPAS - COACH, MONTREAL IMPACT
On winning this championship...
You create opportunities and I think you have to seize the moment. We talked about it in preseason and this was one of our goals, you have to seize the moment. It was a big game and I give all the credit to my team because we fought for 90 minutes. It means a lot to get a clean sheet against a very talented team.
On the game...
I knew it was going to be a close game for us. The away goal was important, so we just had to make sure we would defend well. It was a game played well by both sides, but it was a great moment for us and regardless of how we started the season, my group never lost faith in what we were doing. We still have a long way to go in the season and now we are right there. But I think the confidence of winning some games is making us even stronger. So I can say it won't be easy coming in here playing against us or even on the road because we are going to be a committed group. Again, I am very proud of the team, and that`s not only for the team but this is for Montreal. I`m excited to be part of it.
On the rest of the season...
It takes time. I think the continuity with the team has helped. I think that the job Nick de Santis has been doing with the moves has helped us tremendously and everyone in this organization is committed. We are finding our form now training outside, because it is a disadvantage for us to be training 3-4 months inside. The players show commitment every day in training, but it`s good to get results. We still have a long way to go so we can't relax yet. Of course, when we have a win like this we enjoy it, but then we have to go back to work because we have a lot to play for.
FELIPE - MIDFIELDER, MONTREAL IMPACT
Was this the most important goal of your career so far...
Of course, it's the championship and the final so it's important for us and for the club and a chance for us to represent Canada in the CONCACAF Champions League and we will hopefully do better than last year. When I get on the field I just want to do my best every day.
What is your role on the field...
My role is to play. It doesn't matter where they put me, I am here to play. I want to thank the coach because he has helped me a lot and given me a lot of confidence. When the coach, staff and teammates give you confidence, you play well on the field. We are together a great group and we have to continue to do the job we did today.
PATRICE BERNIER - MIDFIELDER, MONTREAL IMPACT
Was it part of the game to be aggressive on the field today...
Yes, especially after our last home game, we wanted to be first on the ball. We didn`t want to be content with a 0-0 game. We pushed through and created a lot of opportunities today. So yes, it was part of our plan to win to protect our title as champions and it meant even more to us to do it at home.
Has the past 2 wins changed the momentum this season...
It's good for the team moral and good for the spirit of the club Last year, we were on a high and we just seemed unstoppable. This year the season is a bit more difficult; we battled through. It hasn't been an easy championship, so now we have to take this momentum and build on it. We are more confident now and it's how you finish at the end of the season that tells a lot about you. There`s still a lot more soccer to be played this year.