Canada Soccer

Whitecaps eliminate Impact from championship

Posted on 27 May 2009 in Canadian Championship

Vancouver Whitecaps FC has officially eliminated the Impact de Montréal in the 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship. With a 1:0 victory on Wednesday night, Vancouver picked up another three points to keep pace with the championship leaders, Toronto FC. Vancouver's teenage midfielder Ethan Gage scored the lone goal in the victory.

The Whitecaps win sets up what could be a title match next Tuesday 2 June at Swangard Stadium in Vancouver. Toronto FC needs a win or a draw to eliminate the Whitecaps and clinch the 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship; Vancouver needs a win over Toronto FC as well as help from the Impact on 18 June.

Gage, who turned 18 just three weeks ago, scored the first goal of his young professional career with Vancouver's first team.

An even first half saw little in the way of scoring chances as both defences were on top. The match featured an intriguing battle in midfield as two of the USL's best midfielders Vancouver's Martin Nash and Montréal's Sandro Grande competed for territorial control of the centre of the park.

A penalty in the 53rd minute sprung the second half to life. Vancouver's Charles Gbeke was hauled down in the Montréal box by Adam Braz. Gbeke dusted himself off to take his own penalty, only to see his low drive sensationally stopped by Matt Jordan in the Montréal net.

Both teams knew the importance of coming away with all three points and as a result the scoring chances started to come with more frequency. In the 67th minute youngster Ethan Gage broke the deadlock with a fierce low drive from the top of the box following a scramble in front of the Montréal net. Gage was mobbed by teammates as Swangard erupted into wild cheering.

Vancover keeper Jay Nolly was called upon to make a terrific double stop off Montréal's Eduardo Sebrango in the 87th minute to keep the match tied.

The 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship runs 6 May to 18 June in Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver. The winning team not only claims the Voyageurs Cup, but also qualifies for the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League season.

Back to news list

Proud partners of Canada Soccer