Faced with the toughest task of the four MLS teams up against Central American opposition in the first round of the Concacaf Champions quarterfinals, the Montreal Impact advanced when its 0-0 tie with
Saprissa was enough to knock off the Costa Rican powerhouse thanks to the two away goals from the 2-2 tie in San Jose a week earlier.
A save by French goalkeeper Clement Diop, who
started out in MLS at the LA Galaxy, on Saprissa’s Mariano Torres in the 88th minute preserved the tie.
"Deportivo Saprissa is a really good team that knows how to move the
ball," said Montreal coach Thierry Henry, "but the players fought until the end. It was a defensive game where the ball was mostly in midfield, but we were able to manage the game. We knew it
was going to be difficult for us. We managed to play against a team that pushed us until the end of the game. I have nothing wrong to say on my players' urge to play."
Next up: The Impact will play the Seatte Sounders-Olimpia winner to its first CCL quarterfinal appearance since 2015.
Feb. 26 in Montreal Montreal Impact 0 Saprissa 0. Montreal Impact -- Diop; Corrales, Raitala (Waterman 46),
Binks, Fanni, Brault-Guillard; Sejdic (Taider 67), Piette; Quioto, Bojan (Jackson-Hamel 78), Shome. Saprissa --Cruz; David, Guzman (Martinez 74), Aguero, Cortes (Lopez 71); Bolanos,
Torres, Angulo (Rodriguez 64), Blanco; Venegas, Ugalde.