The Impact de Montreal drew 0:0 with Real Esteli on Tuesday, sending the Canadian side to the Group Stage of the CONCACAF Champions League ™.
Montreal prevailed on a 1:0 aggregate thanks to its victory last week at home, becoming the first Canadian team to advance past the first phase of a CONCACAF club competition.
The result was the latest national achievement for the Impact, already being the first Canadian team to play in a confederation competition in 32 years.
Montreal had two chances late, including an uncommon free kick inside the penalty area.
Montreal striker Roberto Brown appeared to be pulled down by his shirt from behind by defender Marvin Molina in the 69th minute, but play continued.
Then a minute later, an illegal backpass to Esteli goalkeeper Carlos Mendieta led to a free kick on the six-yard line. Most of Estelí's players formed a wall along the goal line and -- after an early encroachment led to a caution to Juan Pablo Chacon -- Impact midfielder Leonardo Di Lorenzo drove the ball off the left post.
Tuesday's match was played in Estadio Carlos Miranda in Comayagua, Honduras, due to the tournament's stadium requirements.
Despite controlling the game in spurts, especially in the first half, Estelí failed to generate much offense for the second straight match. The team's best stretch came midway through the first half when it applied pressure and forced the Impact into committing defensive giveaways.
Otoniel Rivas' side converted two of the lapses into its only real threats, disappointing the small, but boisterous partisan crowd. The first came in the 34th minute when Elmer Antonio Mejia blasted a 20-yard drive off the crossbar. Just before halftime, Samuel Israel Wilson led a two-on-one break, but shot wide.
The result places Montreal in Group C along with Mexico's Atlante FC, CD Olimpia of Honduras and Joe Public FC of Trinidad, which earlier Tuesday eliminated the New England Revolution with a 4:0 victory and a 6:1 aggregate total.
2008-09 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE™
02.09.2008: Comayagua, HONDURAS; Estadio Carlos Miranda (A: 1000)
REAL ESTELI FC (NCA) - IMPACT DE MONTREAL (CAN) 0:0
Real Esteli FC: Carlos Reynaldo Mendieta - Armando Collado Lanuza, Juan Pablo Chacon, Chanel Adonis Norales, Richardo Antonio Vega (76: Rudel Alexander Calero), Samuel Israel Wilson, Elmer Antonio Mejia, Sergio Ivan Rodriguez-C, Franklin Ulises Lopez, Marvin Molina, Rafael Costa Santos (62: David Milton Martinez). Booked: Lopez 39', Chacon 71', Lanuza 72', Sent offs: Chacon 86'
TD: Otoniel RIVAS
Impact de Montréal: Matt Jordan - Nevio Pizzolitto-C, David Testo, Roberto Brown, Sandro Grande, Stefano Pesoli, Joel Gjertsen (54: Antonio Riberio), Leo Di Lorenzo, Félix Brillant (90: Gason Gregory), Simon Gatti, Cedric Joqueviel (79: Tony Donatelli). Booked: Testo 66', Jefferson 79'
TD: John LIMNIATIS
R: Ricardo CERDAS (CRC)
Impact de Montréal win 1:0 on aggregate