2004 Sep 18

Playoffs, A-League Championship Match:
Montreal Impact 2 - 0 Seattle Sounders
Claude Robillard Sports Complex, Montreal, QC

33' MON - Vincello (Roberto)
78' MON - Commodore (Pizzolito)

Montreal: Greg Sutton; Gabriel Gervais, Nevio Pizzolito, Adam Braz, Mauricio Vincello; Sandro Grande, Zé Roberto, Patrick Leduc (Antonio Ribeiro 89'), Mauro Biello; Joel Bailey (Freddy Commodore 58'), Eddy Sebrango. Substitutes not used: Andrew Olivieri, Lloyd Barker, Adrian Cann, Chris Williams, Chris Lemire.

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Danny Jackson, Ryan Edwards (Chad Brown 65'), Zach Scott, Billy Sleeth (Scott Jenkins 84'); Kevin Sakuda, Jason Farrell, Ben Somoza (Marco Velez 58'), Jonathan Bolaños (Craig Tomlinson 74'), Darren Sawatzky (Kyle Smith 84'); Roger Levesque. Substitutes not used: Danny Waltman, Sean-Michael Callahan.

Additional match reports: Montreal fan Albert Ohayon, Seattle Times, King County Journal, Impact, Sounders.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

The host Montreal Impact claimed the A-League Championship with a 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders. Mauricio Vincello opened the scoring in the first half and Freddy Commodore added an insurance goal in the second half. Montreal outshot Seattle 17-7.

Montreal packed their stadium with 13,648, a record attendance for the Impact. The stands were full and quite a few fans were sitting on the grass on two sides of the field. The Impact sent their fans home happy, the team crowned A-League Champions.

First Half

The match built up gradually and evenly, with the first good chance a 30-yard Seattle free kick in the 12th minute taken by Jonathan Bolaños after he was knocked down by Vincello, who was cautioned on the play. Bolaños sent the free kick two yards over the crossbar.

Montreal's first good shot came in the 18th when Zé Roberto's 22-yard hard shot deflected slightly off a defender's leg and rose, but Preston Burpo did well to save the shot overhead.

Back to Seattle in the 23rd when Jason Farrell's low shot from the top corner of the penalty area forced Greg Sutton's first save.

Montreal were next in the 27th when a free kick from the right side was headed nicely towards the lower far corner by Nevio Pizzolito, and Burpo dove to just barely push it wide for a corner.

33' Vincello (Roberto). Play had been even for the first half hour, then Montreal found the goal. Roberto laid the ball off to Vincello in midfield and Vincello carried it at goal. Nobody could close Vincello down as he zigged and zagged up the middle. From 15 yards, Vincello fired a hard shot that went in off the far post, just past the outstretched hand of a diving Burpo. 1-0 Montreal.

The final minute plus added time saw a good chance each way. First it was Montreal, as captain Mauro Biello was sprung into the penalty area on the right for a low shot that went just wide of the far post with Joel Bailey a step too late to tap it in. Then it was Seattle's captain Farrell making space in the left of the penalty area for a 15-yard shot, and Sutton collapsed at the near post for a fine save.

Halftime: Montreal 1 - 0 Seattle

Montreal kept Seattle from getting a good shot for almost the first 30 minutes of the second half. Montreal had a few chances, starting with an open 25-yard shot up the middle by Grande that cleared the bar by a yard. Substitute Commodore was fed in the arc, open on a counterattack, and just missed a top corner. Then Patrick Leduc's long cross from the right cleared the defender and gave Commodore a diving header from 12 yards, but it went right to Burpo.

Seattle's Craig Tomlinson came on for Bolaños in the 74th and within 20 seconds had Seattle's best chance of the match when Roger Levesque sent the ball up the left side. Tomlinson's marker misjudged the ball and the speedy Tomlinson was off to the races, getting within 10 yards of goal with only Sutton to beat. Tomlinson's hard shot went over Sutton only to hit the front of the crossbar a yard from the near post. The rebound went into open space right of goal but no Seattle player was there for the leftovers.

78' Commodore (Pizzolito). A Montreal corner kick was sent back out and crossed in front of goal. The ball was knocked to Pizzolito in front of goal, but with a couple of defenders goal side of him Pizzolito spotted Commodore open at the far post and dropped a diagonal pass. Commodore blasted the ball into the open space on the near side before Burpo could get there. 2-0 Montreal.

Montreal soon had another chance when Eddy Sebrango was served in front of goal for a sharp header, but it went a yard wide of the far post. It was Sebrango again in the 90th, open for a 15-yard shot from the left, but he was a yard wide of the near post.

Seattle's last chance came in added time from a 22-yard free kick near the arc. Farrell took it and hit the wall.

With Seattle throwing everyone forward at every opportunity, Commodore and Sebrango each got final chances on counterattacks but failed to finish from close range.

Final: Montreal 2 - 0 Seattle

         Montreal  Seattle
Shots:      17        7
Saves:       3        6
Corners:     8        5
Fouls:      13       16
Offsides:    1        0

12' MON - Vincello cautioned for knocking down Bolaños to prevent a chance.
14' MON - Roberto cautioned for kicking Somoza in the ankle after Somoza stole the ball from Roberto.
17' SEA - Sawatzky cautioned for tripping Grande from behind.
43' SEA - Sleeth cautioned for knocking a defender over as the ball went out.
61' MON - Pizzolito cautioned for a late slide under Farrell.

Referees: Mauricio Navarro; Zoran Kristo, Amato DeLuca; Daniel Belleau.
Attendance: 13,648