Alejandro Silva's 58th-minute goal gave the Montreal Impact a 1-0 win in Wednesday's first leg of their Canadian Championship semifinal with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Montreal was clearly the more attacking side at home at Stade Saputo. The Impact will head west to British Columbia for next Wednesday's second leg with their goal advantage.
Jackson-Hamel hit the crossbar with another shot in the 62nd minute, and had a goal called back for offside in the 70th minute before exiting for Impact star Ignacio Piatti. Stefan Marinovic, in his first game in goal in more than two months for the Whitecaps, had to make three saves.
The Whitecaps rarely threatened, even in the latter stages of the match.
58’ – MTL – Alejandro Silva
- THE BIG PICTURE: Montreal probably feels like it could have taken a larger lead to Vancouver for the second leg. Sending in Piatti late was an indication the Impact were looking to add on and lessen the pressure on scoring an away goal, but the Whitecaps, with Marinovic coming up big, gave themselves a strong chance to advance pending a good offensive showing next week at BC Place. Both teams get scheduling help with games in the Pacific Northwest this weekend before heading to Vancouver.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Silva's goal was the biggest play, and spurred a slew of chances in the next few minutes that Montreal couldn't convert.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Anthony Jackson-Hamel was knocked around by Whitecaps defender Aly Ghazal, and it took its toll. Still, he was a major factor in the Impact's attack with four shots and was deserving of a goal. Saphir Taider also showed well as the playmaking midfielder.