Canadian sides Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact played an entertaining finale to their phase one schedules, with the Whitecaps winning 2-1 on Wednesday at BC Place after the Impact picked up a red card midway through the first half.
The lively match started fairly quiet, with both teams struggling to come up with quality goalscoring chances. The hosts were dominant for most of the opening 20 minutes, but had no shots on goal to show for it. Eventually, though, the Impact got into the match and recorded one of the first genuine scoring chances courtesy of a Luis Binks opportunity in the 32nd minute. Just when the visitors were starting to build some momentum, they were dealt a blow when Rudy Camacho picked up a red card in the 37th minute for knocking Fredy Montero down after the Whitecap fouled him. Montero scored the subsequent penalty in the 40th minute.
From there, momentum had fully swung towards the Whitecaps and they doubled their lead in quick fashion. Cristian Dajome received the ball from David Milinkovic as he was running towards the penalty area, and scored from outside the box for a 2-0 lead in the 44th minute.
The Whitecaps picked up form where they left off to start the second half, but the Impact willed their way back into the match with a 70th minute goal to make it 2-1. Romell Quioto was forced into a wide position by a Vancouver defender, but was eventually able to score a goal from a difficult angle on the left side of the penalty area.
That momentum was short lived for the Impact, though, with Montero picking up his second just eight minutes later. Montero combined well with substitute Leonard Owusu, who eventually left the ball for him in the penalty area before Montero's strong strike ended up in the back of the net to restore the Whitecaps' two-goal led. The goal did not entirely crush the visitors, who managed a number of late opportunities. The Whitecaps defense was able to match their efforts, though, meaning they were able to close out the match.
- 40' - VAN - Fredy Montero (PK) | WATCH
- 44' - VAN - Cristian Dajome | WATCH
- 70' - MTL - Romell Quioto | WATCH
- 78' - VAN - Fredy Montero | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Vancouver Whitecaps enjoyed a strong display led by Fredy Montero, but the match represents more of a missed opportunity for the Montreal Impact. Needing a win to secure a place in the Canadian Championship final, they seem to have squandered it after going down to 10 men in the first half.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The trajectory of a mild match was changed when Rudy Camacho picked up an unnecessary red card and conceded a penalty when he lashed out at Montero, allowing Vancouver to gain a hold on the match by the 40th minute.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Fredy Montero enjoyed his first start in 2020, scoring two of the Whitecaps' three goals and was active on a night his side had 13 shots, five of which were his.