Goals in the final half hour of the game by forward Tomi Ameobi and midfielder Michael Nonni gave the NASL’s FC Edmonton a 2-1 home victory over the defending Amway Canadian Champion (ACC), Montreal Impact of MLS in the first-leg of the 2014 semifinals on Wednesday evening at Clarke Stadium.
The crowd of 1,946 witness a historic result as Edmonton became the first NASL club to defeat an MLS team at annual Canadian tournament. The Eddies now take a 2-1 lead into the second-leg of the home-and-away series that will take place next week (Wednesday, May 14) at Montreal's Stade Saputo.
FC Edmonton coach Colin Miller once again displayed his confidence in 17-year-old midfielder Hanson Boakai by having the young midfielder in the club’s starting line-up. Miller’s confidence did not go amiss when in the 18th minute, a through ball from forward Daryl Fordyce found Boakai in-between two Montreal defenders, but his final left-footed shot was easily saved by Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush.
The visiting club’s captain Patrice Bernier helped Montreal to it’s first chance on the evening in the 42nd minute after Bernier managed a ball to the defender Calum Mallace, whose final shot was just wide of the near post.
In the second half, Impact continue to pressure and in the 56th minute got on the board first with when forward John McInerney scored off a free kick from Bernier.
The Eddies got the equalizer four minutes later with a goal from Ameobi off an assist from the Canadian youth international Boakai.
When it all looked like possible stalemate, second half substitute Nonni notched the game-winner for Edmonton before the final whistle.
The Edmonton-Montreal winner will advance to the ACC Final to take on the winner of the other semifinal between Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Toronto FC (with Toronto leading 2-1 after the first-leg win this evening) to be played on May 28 and June 4, with the 2014 Canadian champion qualifying into the 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champion’s League.