CCL final

MONTREAL, Quebec – The final chapter of this incredible journey by the Montreal Impact did not quite end the way many had hoped. Despite a spirited effort, the home side fell 4-2 (5-3 on aggregate) to Mexican giants Club América at Olympic Stadium on Wednesday night, in the decisive game of the CONCACAF Champions League finals, in front of a club record crowd of 61,004 fans.


“Regardless of the outcome, I am extremely proud of what this team has accomplished,” said head coach Frank Klopas, who brought his assistants to the postgame press conference. “We gave everything on the field, the support was incredible from our fans and the atmosphere was second to none. We fell a little bit short, but we should be proud with what we did as a team.”
“It's been tough,” added midfielder Calum Mallace. “We pretty much have a brand new team this year, but our run in this competition made us believe that we are in this together and we're going to stick together for the rest of the year."

IMFC played an inspired first half, opening the scoring in spectacular fashion in the 8th minute. Ignacio Piatti dangled around three defenders along the goal line, laying the ball off to countryman Andrés Romero, who was making a lateral run into the box. Pushing past two defenders, the Argentine turned and cut his shot towards the opposite post.

Coming close in the first half
Impact had the better chances in the first half, although Calum Mallace used an overhead kick to clear the ball of the goal line after a shot from distance bounced down off the cross bar for Club América’s only real scoring chance.


In the 24th minute, Piatti was played into the box by Duka and used a move to get around his defender, but his shot was stopped by a charging Moisés Munoz.
Six minutes later, a give and go was chipped through by Duka to Piatti, who took two touches before firing from outside the box, missing just wide.
Things really got heated after the Impact found some chances through the first half hour, with a number of confrontations in midfield, while pushing and shoving erupted as the home side tried to get settled over the ball on set pieces.

América turns it on
Club América found an equalizer early in the second half, just five minutes in, when Dario Benedetto used a half volley scissor kick to beat Kristian Nicht after Osvaldo Martinez played a deep cross into the box.
Nicht was tested again three minutes later when Rubens Sambueza had a half break, but the German keeper came out to cut off the angle.

Then in the 64th minute, Club América went ahead after a long ball down the left flank, inside the six yard box, was played across the goal by Darwin Quintero to Oribe Peralta, who headed it home.


Three minutes later, Benedetto silenced the Impact crowd when he converted a cross from in close as he lunged forward with an outstretched foot to knock it in. 

The Argentine striker put the nail in the coffin in the 81st minute. After the Impact was pushing high to try and find a goal, Benedetto found his third of the game with a long distance drive from 25 yards out.


The Bleu-blanc-noir pushed to the end, finding a goal in the game’s remaining minutes as Piatti played second half substitute Jack McInerney into the box, who then poked it home left side.
"We've done great in this tournament. We played well with our style of play, by counter attacking against these Central American teams,” said McInerney. “In MLS, it's going to be a little bit different, but we have a skillful team and we're going to see a lot more of the ball. Players grew close when we traveled and we can use that to our advantage for rest of the season."
A consolation prize came at the awards ceremony at the end of the game for Montreal as Evan Bush was named goalkeeper of the tournament
The Impact plays its next game at home on Wednesday, May 6, in the Stade Saputo home opener, against Toronto FC, as it defends its Canadian title in the first match of the Amway Canadian Championship.

LINEUPS
MTL – GK-Kristian Nicht; D-Nigel Reo-Coker, Bakary Soumare, Laurent Ciman, Donny Toia (Maxim Tissot 70’); M-Marco Donadel (Jack McInerney 67’), Calum Mallace (Patrice Bernier 79’), Andrés Romero, Ignacio Piatti, Dilly Duka; F-Dominic Oduro

Subs not used: GK-Maxime Crépeau; D-Wandrille Lefèvre, Eric Miller; F-Kenny Cooper


CA – GK-Moises Munoz; D-Paul Aguilar, Pablo Aguilar, Ventura Alvarado, Miguel Samudio; M-Rubens Sambueza (Osmar Mares 87’), José Daniel Guerrero, Osvaldo Martinez, Darwin Quintero (Jose Antonio Maduena 82’); F-Oribe Peralta (Michael Arroyo 85’), Dario Benedetto
Subs not used: Cristian Pellerano, Hugo Gonzalez, Erik Pimental,  Martin Zuniga
GOALS
MTL – Romero (Piatti) 8’
CA – Benedetto (Martinez) 50’
CA – Peralta (Quintero, Sambueza) 64’

CA – Benedetto (Samudio, Martinez) 66’
CA – Benedetto (Quintero) 81’
MTL – McInerney (Piatti) 89’

CAUTIONS
MTL – Soumare 24’
CA – Guerrero 28’
CA – Pablo Aguilar 34’


CA – Martinez 36’
MTL – Romero 37’
MTL – Ciman 63’
CA – Benedetto 67’
MTL – Oduro 69’