Silva goal lifts Impact over Whitecaps in Canadian Championship opener
Montreal Impact's Ignacio Piatti, right, breaks away from Vancouver Whitecaps' Sean Franklin, left, and teammate Ali Ghazal during second half Canadian Championship action in Montreal on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter McCabe
Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, July 18, 2018 10:05PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 19, 2018 10:28AM EDT
Alejandro Silva scored in the 58th minute as the Montreal Impact downed the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 in the opening leg of their Canadian Championship semifinal on Wednesday night.
Montreal takes a one-goal lead into the return leg of the two-game total goals series next Wednesday in Vancouver.
The Impact had most of the possession and the chances but couldn't get a ball past Stefan Marinovic until some intricate build-up around the Vancouver penalty area saw Jeisson Vargas feed Saphir Taider on the right side for a pass back to the unmarked Silva for the goal.
Four minutes later, an Anthony Jackson-Hamel shot went off the crossbar.
Vancouver's best chance came in the 50th minute when Rudy Camacho was called for a hand ball just outside the 18-yard box, but Nicolas Mezquida shot wide from 20 yards out.
The first half saw each team hit a goalpost, with Jackson-Hamel heading on the woodwork in the 24th minute and Cristain Techera grazing a post with what looked more like a pass attempt from a tight angle in the 33rd. Jackson had another glittering chance in the 23rd when he was sent in on the right side but shot well over the bar.
Montreal right back Michael Petrasso was replaced by Jukka Raitala in the 38th minute after taking a knock on the head.
Both teams started the minimum of three Canadian players and both had top players start on the bench, including Alphonso Davies for Vancouver and Ignacio Piatti and Rod Fanni for Montreal. Centreback Kendall Waston, recovering from a groin strain, did not dress for Vancouver.
Clement Diop got his first action of the season replacing Evan Bush in goal for Montreal. Marinovic started for the Whitecaps for the first time since May.
Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert of Niagara Falls, Ont., made his record 20th career Canadian Championship appearance.
The Whitecaps play a league match in Seattle while the Impact are in Portland on Saturday.