The Montreal Impact are headed to the Canadian Championship final, riding an early goal from Anthony Jackson-Hamel to a 1-0 victory over Cavalry FC in the second leg of the semifinal matchup between the sides at ATCO Field on Wednesday.
The tally gave the Impact a 3-1 aggregate victory in the two-leg series following their 2-1 triumph at Stade Saputo on August 7, setting up a clash with Toronto FC in the tournament final after the Reds also punched their ticket with a semifinal triumph over Ottawa Fury FC on Wednesday.
Defending their one-goal lead, the Impact struck for the game's only goal in just the 13th minute after Jackson-Hamel got on the end of a pinpoint corner kick from Saphir Taïder and placed his header into the net.
Cavalry very nearly equalized off a corner kick of their own in the 20th minute after defender Dominick Zator put his headed effort on frame, but Impact goalkeeper Clement Diop made a sprawling reaction save to push the ball over the bar and maintain Montreal's advantage. Cavalry would have a couple more looks at an equalizer before the halftime whistle, but none quite materialized and the two-goal aggregate cushion for the Impact would hold into the break.
Montreal would bear down in the second half, thwarting a couple more chances from the home side to preserve the clean sheet and see out the 1-0 result, clinching a sixth trip to the CanChamp final in franchise history.
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- 13' - MON - Anthony Jackson-Hamel
- THE BIG PICTURE: Montreal didn't have it as easy as TFC, but in the end they did enough to put away a feisty Calvary side that never laid down throughout the series and certainly had its chances on Wednesday. Now, they'll set their sights on dethroning the Reds, who own each of the last three CanChamp titles.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Zator's 20th-minute header would have changed the complexion of the match entirely had it found the net, so we'll give it to Diop's snap save on the attempt, as the netminder put in a solid overall shift to help the Impact to the clean sheet.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Jackson-Hamel gets the nod for his early goal, which gave the Impact some necessary breathing room after entering the match defending a slim one-goal advantage against a Cavalry team playing with nothing to lose.
- MON: Saturday, August 17 vs. FC Dallas (7:30 pm ET | TVAS in Canada, MLS Live on ESPN+ in US)