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Impact advance to Quarterfinals
Montreal first to reach Champions League quarters with 1-1 draw

Montreal Impact News Release - www.montrealimpact.com

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

MONTREAL, QC -- On a cold and rainy night, the Montreal Impact (3-0-2; 11 pts) and CD Olimpia of Honduras, (1-2-2; 5 pts) played to a 1-1 draw, Tuesday, in the final match of the season at Saputo Stadium. With the single point, the Impact also clinched a berth in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. Montreal remains the lone unbeaten team in the competition.

Impact celebrate after scoring opening tally in Montreal (Pepe)Forward Roberto Brown scored the lone Impact goal in the 40th minute, while Ramiro Bruschi scored the tying goal for CD Olimpia in first half stoppage time.

“We reached today an objective that most people thought improbable,” said Impact head coach John Limniatis. “We are advancing, but most importantly we deserved to win because we were definitely one of the best two teams in the group. I’m proud for the franchise as a whole, but also for the players. I think that it was a very good game although the conditions were very difficult. It could have gone either way.”

Brown has scored three goals in the tournament, all against CD Olimpia. On the play, midfielder Sandro Grande fired a point-blank shot from near the goal line and Brown pounced on the rebound from about six metres out, scoring with a scissor-kick into an open net.

Bruschi (45th minute) scored the Honduran goal after taking a deep pass from Wilmer Velasquez on the right flank. He broke away from the Montreal defenders and chipped the ball over the head of goalkeeper Matt Jordan.

“It’s a great result for us,” said veteran defender Nevio Pizzolitto. “We’ve reached a point that no one predicted we would be in. We’ve given ourselves the opportunity to show that we have a high level of soccer in this country. I feel like we are finally getting some respect. That being said, we have not won anything yet. We want to be in the final and we’ll have to give everything we have to get there.”

With 11 points, the Impact will finish no worse than second place in Group C of the CONCACAF Champions League. Montreal still has the group’s best goal differential (+6).

For this final home game of the season, 8,961 tickets were sold, but the inclement weather limited the crowd to 5,500 courageous supporters.

Defender Gabriel Gervais (blood clot), as well as midfielders Patrick Leduc (ankle) and David Testo (sports hernia) missed the match due to injuries.

The Impact will play its final match of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage next Tuesday, October 28, against Atlante FC in Cancun, Mexico. Atlante, who trails Montreal by three points, also qualified for the Quarterfinals courtesy of Olimpia’s draw and its 2-0 victory over Joe Public in Trinidad & Tobago Tuesday.

The quarterfinal round, a home-and-away aggregate-goal series, will take place from February 24 to March 5. A random draw will determine the four match-ups, but the date for that has yet to be announced.

HIGHLIGHTS
48th minute – Impact defender Stefano Pesoli headed a Rocco Placentino corner kick, but a CD Olimpia defender blocked the shot on the goal line. On the rebound, defender Nevio Pizzolitto’s low shot was also stopped on the goal line.

51st minute – Midfielder Leonardo Di Lorenzo tracked down a loose ball in the high slot and blasted a shot just over the crossbar from about 20 metres out.

71st minute – Ramiro Bruschi collected a pass between the Impact defenders and broke in alone on Matt Jordan, but his low shot missed just left of the Montreal net.

87th minute – Midfielder Leonardo Di Lorenzo took a short pass from Roberto Brown, but goalkeeper Noel Valladares deflected the ball with his fingertips over the top of the net.

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