Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Huge crowd sees Montreal sting Santos [VIDEO]
by Ridge Mahoney, February 26th, 2009 7AM



[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Four years after he left the Montreal Impact, Eduardo Sebrango paid back the team that brought him back.
Sebrango scored both goals in front of a team-record crowd at Olympic Stadium as the Impact beat Santos Laguna of Mexico, 2-0, in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions' League quarterfinal series. Santos will host the second leg next Thursday in Torreon, Mexico.

Montreal, which normally plays its home games at the 13,000-seat Stade Saputo, brought this match indoors to the Olympic Stadium. A noisy crowd of 55,571 - largest in team history - that was sheltered from sub-freezing temperatures outside kept up a constant din and the tired Mexicans never recovered after going down a goal in the fifth minute when Roberto Brown slipped past several defenders and played a short ball that Sebrango rammed into the net.

Sebrango, a native of Cuba who scored 36 goals in 83 games for Montreal before moving to Vancouver in 2005, added a second goal in the 77th minute against a statuesque Santos defense. Brown headed on Nevio Pizzolito's long ball, and when defender Johnnie Garcia let it bounce over him, Sebrango outjumped the defender and goalie Oswaldo Sanchez to nod it into the net.

"I was excited and confident coming into this match," said Sebrango, 35. "Brown and I really clicked together and this was a very important game for the team. For the upcoming game, we need to be organized defensively and go along as a team."

Neither team showed much sharpness. Santos was playing its fourth game in 11 days and its defenders reacted sluggishly while conceding both goals.

Montreal is still a month away from starting its regular season, though it played nine lower-division and semipro clubs on a tour of Italy, winning seven and tying two. Once it had the lead, the Impact tightened up its defensive efforts, and while Santos outshot Montreal, 6-3 in the first half, it seldom got clear shots from close range.

Christian Benitez had several chances for Santos, but usually misfired. Those shots that Santos did put on frame were handled by keeper Matt Jordan, who posted his fifth shutout of the competition and recorded eight saves.

Only two other soccer games at Olympic Stadium have drawn larger crowds. The 1976 Summer Olympics final drew 71,617 fans and a 1981 NASL playoff game between the Montreal Manic and Chicago Sting attracted 58,000.

"The crowd was great and helped us get through," said Coach John Limniatis. "This being said, the toughest stretch is yet to come. This was our first competitive game under pressure and it was almost perfect. We managed to do what we wanted to do against them."

The winner of the Santos-Montreal series will play either Houston (MLS) or Mexican club Atlante, which tied, 1-1, in Houston on Tuesday in the first leg.

And Wednesday's other quarterfinal, Jaime Lozano's free kick game Cruz Azul a 1-0 win over UNAM Pumas 1-0. The winner of the series faces the victor of the Puerto Rico Islanders-Honduras Marathon series, whose first leg is Thursday in Puerto Rico.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Fabian Johnson is on fire    
American midfielder Fabian Johnson is suddenly one of the hottest scorers in Germany. He scored two ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Watching the MLS playoffs has been tremendously exciting. The games in the first round with the ...
Klinsmann: Nagbe is a 'great fit' for national team    
One of the standouts in the MLS playoffs has been Darlington Nagbe, who has helped the ...
What They're Saying: Didier Drogba    
"It's a different challenge [in MLS]. People think it's easy to play there. Believe me, it's ...
What They're Saying: Stocksbridge Park Steels chairman Allen Bethel    
"I can't believe what I've been seeing on Saturday nights. He's always on his own. Why ...
MLS: Sporting KC continues talks with five free agents    
Sporting Kansas City re-signed 12 of the 13 players it had options on -- all but ...
MLS: Orlando City declines option on Hall    
Stemming from the roster moves announced Wednesday, Orlando City SC may not look radically different in ...
MLS: Revs re-sign Kobayashi, send three to Portugal    
New England announced Wednesday it has renewed the options on 14 players, signed midfielder Daigo Kobayashi ...
Sacramento wants to show it's ready to roll    
While efforts by David Beckham's group to find land for a soccer stadium in Miami appear ...
Johnson scores again in Champions League    
Fabian Johnson scored in his second straight game for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives