CONCACAF Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg: Alajuelense-Montreal
Tonight, the Canadian Cup Champions and MLS side Montreal Impact try to become the first Canadian side to ever reach the CONCACAF Champions League Final, and first MLS side to do so since the 2010-2011 Real Salt Lake squad.
From Costa Rica, the Impact with a 2-0 aggregate lead after the first leg will look to secure a final birth. In 2009 the Impact held the same lead after a 1st leg at home only to lose 5-4 on aggregate to Santos.
1' - Here we go. Underway! Not an Impact fan but the MLS could benefit from a Champions League Finalist! Go Impact!
5' - Montreal forward early. They want that 3-0 lead and I can't blame them but they have to be careful not to get caught here.
7' - Shot from about 30 yards out skips along the turf and on goal but inches wide. Early scare for Montreal. They gave him the space, inviting the shot on there.
12' - McInerney showing his skill there, helping to move the ball forward for a throw deep in the Alajuelense end but it's wasted.
14' - Free kick for the Impact is pumped into the box and McInerney is there in front of his man but he lofts it over the goal. Should have done a lot better.
16' - Soumare REALLY late to the tackle but the Alajuelense players have been trying to make things look worse than they are. Good refereeing is quelling that thankfully. Free kick is put into the box but cleared.
18' - Evan Bush is warned by the referee for time wasting. Really bruh? It's the 18th minute. At least wait until the second half.
19' - Scramble in the box as the ball comes in. It ricochets around before the keeper grabs it. McDonald for Alajuelense comes in real late and steps on the keeper, albeit he couldn't avoid him. He's booked because he was late either way. Very very scrappy game so far.
22' - All Alajuelense the past 10 minutes.
24' - Alajuelense are just quicker all about the park. The throws ins are quick and calculated. Montreal have no ball control and it could and will burn them if they can't take the pace out of this game.
26' - Alajuelense almost pull one back as a ball is taken from the bi-line into the mixer and is headed just wide.
29' - Free kick for the Costa Rican side and it comes in but the attacker takes a tumble the referee has no interest in. About 1 hour to go.
30' - Alajuelense take a free kick very quickly. Evan Bush is beaten as he's out of position but it's cleared off the line. Replay shows Evan Bush got a hand to the effort.
31' - Replays show Soumare had a slight tug at an opponent's hair. What the hell mate. This is the semi-final! The LAST thing Montreal needs is for you to throw it.
34' - Alajuelense with a free kick 22 yards out and right by the semi-circle. Really nervy moment. Free kick is rifled on goal but Evan Bush makes a class save that parries it away. Top, top save.
36' - Montreal finally with the ball forward and it's headed behind the lines. Piatti can beat with pace but he takes the ball first time and it's miles wide.
38' - Costa should be off here. Piatti and Costa were fighting for the ball in the corner when Costa stamps on Piatti. It's a blatant stamp too. Replay shows three stamps! THREE! And the player puts both hands on the next of Piatti. HOW IS HE ON THE FIELD STILL?! HOW?! Not even a yellow given.
41' - Another Alajuelense free kick this time 25 yards out and it's put over the bar. Game could get very ugly.
42' - YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Montreal settle the play before a one-two on the touch allows a cross to come into a box with no defenders anywhere near the front of Jack McInerney, who pumps it past the keeper.
Alajuelense 0-1 Montreal Aggregate: 0-3
HUGE advantage for Montreal now.
43' - Kick off and a foul. Free kick deep in the Montreal zone. Alajuelense get their 1st corner of the match. A hand ball ends play. Oduro was booked for the foul earlier.
45' - Two minutes of stoppage to be played.
Half-Time Alajuelense 0-1 Montral Aggregate: 0-3
Massive goal for Montreal. 1 away goal, 3 in total with 45 minutes between them and the Champions League Final.
46' - 2nd Half underway and starts with another Alajuelense free kick. This is 19 yards out, right near the line of the box. Free kick is a beauty of a kick. We're level.
Alajeulense 1-1 Montreal Aggregate: 1-3
Pablo Gabas the goal scorer.
50' - Montreal come down the field and fire off a shot from 18 yards but it's over.
53' - How was that not a foul ref? Going to ground when he doesn't have the ball?
54' - Alajuelense are all over the attacking third of the pitch. Even though they still need 3 goals, I feel like the lead isn't safe.
60' - It's all kicking off now. Alajuelense corner is put off the under part of the bar and it bounces over the line. A scrap ensues but Alajeulense have the lead.
Alajuelense 2-1 Montreal Aggregate: 2-3
Montreal have to go a half hour now with only 1 more goal to give. Gabas now with a brace.
64' - Montreal give away another free kick. The stadium is loud now. Really nervous if your a Montreal supporter. I know I'm nervous.
67' - Alajuelense within inches of drawing the aggregate level. They get a cross in to a trailing man who rifles it against the advertising boards.
70' - Jack Mac is subbed off after he's booked as is an Alajuelense player. Gabas has a go from 35-40 yards out and it just clips the top of the netting.
71' - Replays show Jac Mac received a yellow for punching an opponent. Not like full power punch, but still one with malice. Should have been red.
72' - Montreal come down the field and Romero is found after three passes across the box only to take the ball inside that puts the keeper on his feet before powering it home.
Alajuelense 2-2 Montreal Aggregate: 2-4
76' - Alajuelense fans throwing things onto the pitch, a lot directed at Evan Bush. There's a fine if I have ever seen one.
77' - Fans now throwing things at the linesman.
79' - Lazy defending from Montreal. Really lazy. Alajuelense have pushed numbers forward and the Impact have just let them waltz, 4 of them to be exact, into the box and set up a goal.
Alajuelense 3-2 Montreal Aggregate: 3-4
85' - Alajuelense get a ball into the box that's just beyond the foot of their striker. The Costa Rican side need 2 more to advance with 5 minutes of normal time remaining.
90' - 4 minutes of stoppage time to be played.
90' + 2' - Free kick for Alajuelense right at the corner of the 18 yard box. Remember they need 2 goals to advance here. It's into the wall and out to the midfield.
90' + 3' - Alajuelense come back down the field off the free kick and a strike from 20 yards out find the back of the net. Montreal only lead by away goals now.
Alajuelense 4-2 Montreal Aggregate: 4-4
Montreal didn't do it the easy way, but they did it. Montreal are the first Canadian team into the CONCACAF Champions League Final. It was an ugly game. 2 players should have been off, many more booked, the fans threw everything they had in their possession at Evan Bush, but at the end of the day Montreal will play for the CONCACAF Champions League Final!