Competition: CONCACAF Champions League Semi-Final Second-Leg – Alajuelense vs. Montreal Impact
Venue: Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto – Tuesday, April 7 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)
Match Odds: Alajuelense 4/6 – Draw 13/5 – Montreal 17/4
The Impact currently lead 2-0 on aggregate after winning the first-leg at Olympic Stadium three weeks ago thanks to goals from Ignacio Piatti and Victor Cabrera.
The job is only half complete for Montreal though and they face a tough task of remaining solid against an Alajuelense side looking for revenge.
First-leg highlights (via CONCACAF on YouTube):
The Costa Rican side were unable to score an away-goal in their trip to Canada but they beat fellow MLS club DC United 5-2 at home in the quarter-finals and will be out to attack from the onset.
Montreal will be expecting that and will look to hit them on the counter-attack – a tactic that has worked well for the Impact in the competition this year, and so this one is perfectly set up.
An away goal for the Impact will settle nerves as Alajuelense will then have to score at least four but a 2-0 lead is not as safe as it may seem, especially where the Impact are concerned.
Their last MLS game saw them concede two in a matter of minutes against Orlando two weeks ago after leading 2-0 and they went on to tie that game.Embed from Getty Images
And their famous collapse against Santos Laguna in the quarter-finals of this competition in 2009 is something few fans will want to remember.
Montreal led 2-0 after winning the first-leg at home on that occasion but somehow lost the game on aggregate 5-4 after conceding four second-half goals, two of which came in stoppage time.
Mistakes like that must be avoided in Costa Rica on Tuesday night and one factor could be fitness. Montreal have had two weeks to prepare for this game, while Alajuelense have had just two days, after losing 3-1 to Cartagines in the league this weekend.
Alajuelense’s last five in all competitions: D/L/W/W/L
Montreal Impact’s last five in the competition: D/L/W/D/D
Key Stat: Alajuelense have outscored opponents 7-3 at home in this season’s CONCACAF Champions League.Embed from Getty Images
Key Player: Dilly Duka – The Montreal Impact winger scored two in his side’s 2-2 draw against Pachuca away in the quarter-finals and will need to put in another dangerous display to help his side relieve defensive pressure.
Alajuelense 3-1 Montreal Impact – This looks set to be a really tough night for the Impact but they should make the finals on away-goals if they can score at least once. Alajuelense are a different threat at home and will win the match but the Impact will hope to edge it on aggregate.