Alan Gordon could have easily put the San Jose Earthquakes up 1-0 , in the opening game of group 5 of the CONCACAF Champions League. But it was the Montreal Impact that took all 3 points thanks to Hassoun Camara's header, assited by the club's new Designated Player, Hernan Bernardello.
As the crowd at Stade Saputo booed the referee for calling a penalty kick for the Quakes, Gordon did not take a good penalty kick shot as Evan Bush dove on the right side and made the huge save. 15,000+ soaked fans roared when Bush made the save,a roar that evidently pushed the Impact to score the only goal of the game.
At the 16th minute, Bernardello takes an indirect free kick, that resulted from a Brad Ring foul over Marco Di Vaio. From the left side, Bernardello displays his infamous free-kick skills and delivers a precise cross that finds Hassoun Camara. The French defender has been the most dangerous Impact player on set-pieces all year long. He beats his marker to the ball and heads the ball past a diving David Bingham.
What would have happened if Gordon scored on that penalty kick, a few minutes earlier? One thing for sure is that CONCACAF referees have not endeared themselves to a rowdy Stade Saputo crowd.
It was a very physical affair as 38 fouls were called in total and each team was handed 2 yellow cards. The physicality can be explained by the weather conditions as rain induces mistakes and loose balls. But the game's intensity was at a high point and there is so much you can blame on wet grass.
Marvin Chavez was the victim of a Daniel Paponi dangerous tackle, right before half-time. The Italian striker was lucky not to get a yellow card on that play, adding more questions to the referee's consistency or lack thereof.
As expected, San Jose comes out strong in the second half and had a few opportunities very close to Evan Bush's goal. A couple headers missed the goal, indicative of the Quakes domination during that period. Chris Wondolowski came in with 20 minutes left and added some needed support to Alan Gordon and co.
As San Jose was pushing for an equalizer, Marco Schallibaum opted for a 3-midfield setup when Patrice Bernier made his entrance shortly after. With Collen Warner and Bernardello behind him, the MLS All Star had the task to push the offense for the Impact.
The Impact survive the game and take the win for a huge 3 points in CCL after a 5-year absence. Montreal plays its next CCL game against C.D. Heredia in Guatemala on August 21st. Getting the first win in the group is a big psychological advantage for the club in the competition.
It will also help Schallibaum's men to have a more positive perspective as they travel to the mid-west to face the Chicago Fire on August 10th at Toyota Park.
More from Mount Royal Soccer:
- Why the CONCACAF Champions League Matters to the San Jose Earthquakes
- Depuis mon canapé: Les 7 Commandements d'Antoine version LDC
- Marco Di Vaio and Patrice Bernier featured on Jimmy Fallon Late Night Show
- Dennis Iapichino no longer part of the Montreal Impact's plans
- CONCACAF Champions League: Montreal Impact kick-off CCL campaign against the San Jose Earthquakes