MONTREAL – Cavalry FC is down, but certainly not out with an away goal in hand after Leg 1 of the Canadian Championship semi-final, which finished a 2-1 result in favour of the Montreal Impact.
The showdown in Montreal nearly began with fireworks, as Cavalry very nearly opened the scoring within the first minute. The match settled soon, though, as the Impact began to put heavy pressure on Cavalry’s backline, dominating first-half possession.
It was the home side who struck first, as Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti seized his opportunity with Cavs midfielder Julian Buescher over-committing to a tackle and leaving a gap in the defence. Piatti finished with a powerful shot from just inside the box to make it 1-0 before halftime. Piatti delivered the second blow to Cavalry as well, finding himself unmarked at the back post to tap in an incisive ground cross from Bacary Sagna inside the first five minutes of the second half.
Cavalry refused to be counted out, though, seeking a precious away goal to put themselves in a much better position than 2-0 down. Their breakthrough came in the 69th minute, as Buescher found Dominique Malonga out on the left wing with a courageous flick from deep in midfield. Malonga threaded his pass between a pair of Impact defenders for Sergio Camargo, who side-stepped his marker and finished with gusto.
Almost immediately after the goal, however, things turned sourer for Cavalry; captain Nik Ledgerwood picked up his second yellow card of the night in minute 71, ruling him out of Leg 2 and making his side shorthanded for the rest of the night.
Leg 2 of this tie will go down next Wednesday, as the sides shift back to Calgary for the decider at Spruce Meadows (9:30 p.m. ET, 7:30 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer). Before then, though, Cavalry must briefly turn their attention back to the CPL, and a Saturday clash on the road against HFX Wanderers FC (1:00 p.m. ET, 2:00 p.m. AT, on OneSoccer).
32′ – Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact FC)
49′ – Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact FC)
69′ – Sergio Camargo (Cavalry FC)
34′ Yellow – Ken Krolicki (Montreal Impact FC)
56′ Yellow – Nik Ledgerwood (Cavalry FC)
71′ 2nd Yellow – Nik Ledgerwood (Cavalry FC)
74′ Yellow – Orji Okwonkwo (Montreal Impact FC)
Three Key Performers
Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact FC)
The Argentine showed why he’s one of the most dynamic attacking players in MLS. His first goal was a tremendous finish and his second demonstrated his intelligence in making a perfectly-timed run to the back post.
Sergio Camargo (Cavalry FC)
Cavalry’s leading scorer just recorded what could end up being one of the most important in his club’s short history. He took Dominique Malonga’s pass with incredible poise and showed patience in taking a touch before shooting, and as a result Camargo put his side very much back in this tie.
Bacary Sagna (Montreal Impact FC)
Sagna’s cross for Montreal’s second goal was just one of several extremely dangerous chances created by the former French international on the night. He played in five crosses and made two key passes, leading the Impact with 40 passes in the attacking half.