Islanders, Impact move on in Champions League

September 4, 2008

Montreal and Puerto Rico both advanced to the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League after recording a couple of impressive scalps.

Impact vs. Real Esteli

The Montreal Impact made it to the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League Tuesday with a 0-0 tie (1-0 aggregate goals) against the Real EstelĂ­, the Nicaraguan champion club, at Carlos Miranda Stadium, in Honduras.

"Even if it was not our best performance, we are glad to move to the next round," said Impact coach John Limniatis. "We did very well defensively and they maybe had one real scoring chance. We are progressing in the tournament so it's very good."

Goalkeeper Matt Jordan registered a second straight shutout against the Nicaraguan club.

In the first game of the series, on August 27 at Saputo Stadium, the Impact shut out Real EstelĂ­ 1-0. Midfielder Joey Gjertsen had scored the game-winning goal in the 42nd minute.

The Impact is joining in Group C the Atlante FC (Mexico) and the CD Olympia (Honduras), as well as Joe Public FC (Trinidad & Tobago), which has won against the New England Revolution (MLS, USA) 4-0 Tuesday (6-1 on aggregate goals).

The group stage will consist of four groups of four. All the teams in each group will play each other in a six-match round-robin system (three home games, three away games). The Impact will play its first game on Sept. 17 at Saputo Stadium against Joe Public.

Islanders vs. Alajuelense

The Puerto Rico Islanders shocked Costa Rican powerhouse Alajuelense in a stunning rally late for a 2-1 win at home and 3-2 series aggregate result.

Having trailed for over 80 minutes on a waterlogged pitch, the Islanders found the back of the net in the final minutes of play.

Alajuelense opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Eithel Rodriguez struck from 19 yards.

However, a mistake by goalkeeper Wardy Alfaro gave the Islanders new life in the 87th minute. A slow rolling ball into the box was dived on by the goalkeeper at the corner with his momentum carrying him over the line. Kendall Jagdeosingh charged at the play and as the netminder tried to take his hand off the ball so as to not handle it outside the box, the striker stole it, turned and fired it into the far side netting from the right flank of the box.

Less than two minutes later a free kick from Jonathan Steele was met inside the box by the head of an Alajuelense defender, but the deflection sent the ball backwards toward goal and into the chest of Taiwo Atieno, who scored to give the USL-1 side a win over the 2004 CONCACAF Champions Cup winners.