Action from the CONCACAF Champions League game between the Impact de Montreal and visiting Heredia on September 24, 2013, in Montreal, Canada. (Photo courtesy of the Impact de Montreal)
MONTREAL, Canada – The Impact de Montreal (2-0-2, 6 points) scored a goal in each half and defeated Heredia (2-0-1, 6 points), 2-0, in a CONCACAF Champions League match played on Tuesday at Stade Saputo.
Though the Impact maintained its record of never having lost a CCL game at home (5-2-0), it completed its Group 5 fixture list and was eliminated from advancing to the knockout stage on goal difference.
Heredia, which needed only a draw to secure a berth in the quarterfinals, will have to wait until the final matchday to possibly book their ticket. Now level on points with Montreal, the Guatemalans will visit California for a meeting with the San Jose Earthquakes on October 23. The Major League Soccer side has three points from three matches and currently sits at the bottom of the group, but will progress to the next round with a win.
Montreal, which needed to win by five goals to stay alive, took a fourth minute lead when Daniele Paponi followed Felipe Martins’ blocked volley and fired it acrobatically into the net.
The Impact nearly added a second goal in the sixth minute, but Andrea Pisanu sliced an open volley from the right edge of the six-yard box.
In the 13th minute, Andrew Wenger was played behind the Heredia defense, but fired wide of the far post from 16 meters.
Needing just a draw to advance, Heredia almost equalized seconds later through Charles Cordova. The Colombian forward, though, took a touch inside the six-yard box and was muscled off the ball by defenders Hassoun Camara and Karl Ouimette.
Wenger made it 2-0 in the 54th minute, taking a through ball from Maxim Tissot and lobbing it past Heredia goalkeeper Joseph Calderon from 16 meters.
In the 61st minute, second-half substitute Marco Di Vaio – MLS’s top scorer with 18 goals -- put a diving header on frame, forcing Calderon to dive to his right for the save.
With 20 minutes left in regulation, another Di Vaio effort hit off the inside of the right post.
Seven minutes later, Justin Mapp smacked a shot off the same post. Moments earlier, Heredia’s Hector de Matta was played in on the Montreal goal, but missed the target.