Gambian internationals Sanna Nyassi and Mamadou Futty Danso will play in the 2014/15 CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Champions League after their Montreal Impact won the Canadian Championship at the weekend.
The Impact defeated fellow MLS rivals Toronto FC 1-0 in the second and deciding leg of the knockout competition for a 2-1 aggregate win, following a 1-1 stalemate in the first leg last week.
Neither of the Gambian duo participated in the game with Sanna nursing an injury while Futty Danso could not get the proper documentation to feature in the game, having just joined the Impact last week from Portland Timers, where he played for the past six seasons.
The win has given them to opportunity to represent Canada at the seventh edition of the CONCACAF Champions League under its current name and overall the 50th edition of the premier football club competition by the Confederation.
Montreal will now start their campaign in the group stage of the of the annual club competition featuring 24 teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The Impact joined the New York Red Bulls and El Salvador's C.D. FAS in Group 3, which gets underway in August.
The weekend triumph ensured that Montreal has now taken back-to-back Canadian championships after Toronto FC lifted the trophy four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012. Montreal won the inaugural event in 2008.
The win is a major victory for a squad sitting at the bottom of the Major League Soccer standings. “You have to seize the moment,” Impact Manager Frank Klopas, who won his first trophy as an MLS coach was quoted in the Vancouver Sun. “This was one of our goals as a team. When it's there in front of you, you can't let opportunities get away. You can't take them for granted.”
Because the Impact scored a crucial away goal in a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the final at BMO Field on May 28, a scoreless draw in Montreal would have been sufficient for the overall victory. And the game was scoreless heading into stoppage time before Felipe's first Canadian championship goal sealed Montreal's win.
Felipe powered home a decisive strike to the right of TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik minutes before the final whistle to give the Impact their third Voyageurs Cup in the competition's seven-year history. “When I get on the field, I just want to do my best and do my job and keep doing the job I did today,” said the soft-spoken Felipe after the game. “It's important for us to represent Canada well”.
Author: Baboucarr Camara Source: Daily Observer