Foot Culture

Games played at Olympic Stadium


Montreal cultivates a love-hate relationship with its Olympic Stadium, but this icon of our city becomes an electric venue for all sports when the crowd is big enough. We are sure you won’t mind though if we only focus on the beautiful game. Here are some of the marquee games played under the world’s tallest leaning tower.

Final – 1976 Olympic Games

East Germany 3-1 Poland

Attendance: 71,617

Montreal’s passion for soccer was not born yesterday. At the 1976 games, the most popular sporting event at Olympic Stadium (opening and closing ceremonies each attracting over 73,000 people) was the final of the soccer tournament between East Germany and Poland. The neighbours offered a spectacular game with a gold medal looming: the East Germans score twice in the first 15 minutes before the Polish answer after the hour mark to set up a tense ending, but Reinhard Hafner closes the debate, breaking away six minutes before the end.

Quarterfinals – 1981 NASL playoffs

Montreal Manic 3-2 Chicago Sting

Attendance: 58,542

The Impact’s ancestor only played three summer seasons in NASL but will have left its mark in Canadian soccer history. This first game of the best-of-three quarterfinals attracted almost 60,000 people to Olympic stadium. Despite a slow start for the home team allowing the visitors to take a 2-0 lead through a free kick and a hard shot from distance, the Manic mounts a comeback and scores three times without reply to win the game 3-2. The trip to the American Midwest unfortunately did not go too well for the Montreal representatives; the Sting continues its road all the way to the championship.

Opening game – 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup

Poland 1-0 Brazil

Attendance: 55,800

This international tournament putting forth global football’s future stars kicked off in Montreal, at Olympic Stadium, in front of an impressive crowd. Not without reason: the strong Polish community in the city and in the country mobilized for this attracting fixture against the Brazilians, who also have their lot of supporters north of the 45th parallel. While we thought that a Brazil team with Marcelo (Real Madrid), David Luiz (Chelsea) and Alexandre Pato (Villareal) would make a feast of this game, it’s Grzegorz Krychowiak (Paris Saint-Germain) who stepped up and put Poland in front through a quality free kick in the 24th minute, only a few moments before one Krzysztof Krol received a second yellow card. The Poles would hold on to get the three points. During the tournament, Montrealers were lucky enough to lay eyes on top level players to be, like Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich), Giovanni Dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen)… and Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC).

2012 regular season home opener – MLS

Montreal Impact 1-1 Chicago Fire

Attendance: 58,912

The first MLS home game in Impact history also was the setting for its first goal and first point taken by the Montreal squad. Davy Arnaud tallies the club’s first MLS finish, heading in Sanna Nyassi’s cross from the right.

2012 regular season game – MLS

Montreal Impact 1-1 LA Galaxy

Attendance: 60,860

Once upon a time when MLS rhymed with David Beckham, his visit to Montreal made a lot of noise. In fact, a record crowd went to attend the ex-England international’s first game against the Impact. Davy Arnaud didn’t linger to open the score, beating Brian Perk on a breakaway, but the script is already written. On a free kick, Beckham equalizes with a precise strike.

Quarterfinals – 2015 CONCACAF Champions League

Montreal Impact 1-1 Pachuca

Attendance: 38,104

Miracle in Montreal. Enough said.

Final – 2015 CONCACAF Champions League

Montreal Impact 2-4 Club América

Attendance: 61,004

The Impact was 45 minutes away from realizing the greatest dream of them all. Andrés Romero allowed the tens of thousands to celebrate and lose their voice until Dario Benedetto took matters into his own hands and showed the extent of his class by scoring a hat trick. Still, a memorable evening that gave the Impact and the whole city a taste for more.

Semifinals – 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup

United States 2-0 Germany

Attendance: 51,176

The last game of this Women’s World Cup in Montreal was a prestigious one: the previous edition’s finalists, the Americans led by Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, face the unbeaten Germany, #1 in the FIFA rankings. Striker Celia Sasic has a golden opportunity to put her side ahead in the first half, but her penalty completely misses to the left. After the break, the US have the same chance: this time, captain Carli Lloyd doesn’t miss and puts her team ahead. Then, Kelley O’Hara, who entered the pitch in the 75th, puts an end to German hopes on a cross from Lloyd. The latter will be named player of the tournament with six goals, with three coming in the final against Japan.