MONTREAL -- Ignacio Piatti converted two first-half penalties and the Montreal Impact held on to advance to the Canadian Championship final with a 4-2 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps in their semifinal second leg at Stade Saputo on Tuesday night.
Montreal, 5-4 winners on aggregate, scored three goals in the first half after losing 2-1 at Vancouver in the first leg of their semifinal series. Impact midfielder Blerim Dzemaili scored his first goal in North American competition in the 38th minute to give Montreal a 3-0 lead.
Alphonso Davies gave the Whitecaps hope when he scored in the 59th minute to cut the deficit to 3-1, but Montreal's Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored on a volley after playing the ball off his chest in the 61st minute to restore Montreal's three-goal lead.
Vancouver closed within one goal on aggregate on Kyle Greig's header in off the right post in the 77th minute.
The Impact will play for the Canadian Championship against the winner of the semifinal between Toronto FC and the Ottawa Fury of the NASL. Toronto host the return leg of the "Battle of Ontario" on Wednesday after losing the opener 2-1 at Ottawa.
- 20' – MTL – Ignacio Piatti (PK)
- 28' – MTL – Ignacio Piatti (PK)
- 38' – MTL – Blerim Dzemaili
- 59' – VAN – Alphonso Davies
- 61' – MTL – Anthony Jackson-Hamel
- 77' – VAN – Kyle Greig
- GETTING ON THE BOARD: Dzemaili did not play the first leg in Vancouver but has played two MLS regular season games since signing as a Designated Player from Bologna of Italy's Serie A. His pass sent Jackson-Hamel into the box on the play that led to Piatti's first goal. Then he was in the right place to score his goal by taking advantage of a centering pass from Ambroise Oyongo that bounced off two Whitecaps players.
- BIRTHDAY BLUES: Vancouver goalkeeper Spencer Richey allowed four goals on his 25th birthday, but could hardly be blamed for any of them after starting both legs of the semifinal. Across the cup tie, he faced three penalties, including a save on Montreal midfielder Patrice Bernier in Vancouver. He is usually third on coach Carl Robinson’s depth chart, behind David Ousted and Paolo Tornaghi.
- HOME COOKING CONTINUES: Montreal continues to be one of the league’s most explosive teams at home. The Impact scored four goals for a second consecutive home match on Tuesday following a 4-1 league win over Portland May 20. They have scored twice in all but one of their matches in Montreal this season across all competitions.