Argentine Dario Benedetto managed a “hat trick” in the second half at the Stade Olympique de Chambery in Montreal to lead Mexico’s Club America to a 4-2 victory over Canada’s Montreal Impact in the CONCACAF Champions League 2014-15 final. The Canadian squad plays in the U.S. Major League Soccer (MLS) and arrived at home with a partial advantage. The Impact had earned a 1-1 at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City a week ago.
“We played as if we were the local squad with great fans in the stands,” America Coach Gustavo Matosas said after the game. While the Canadians outnumbered their Mexican counterparts, patches of “yellow” jersey fans made their voices heard.
Montreal took an early lead with a goal from Andres Romero who found the ball after a triangle combination in the area that caught the Mexican squad by storm. The MLS side and the La Liga MX squad went at it in the first 45 minutes but Montreal would take the 1-0 lead into the break.
America came out with full force in the second half and within five minutes Benedetto scored his first goal of the game. Benedetto flew with a half scissor sending the ball directly at goalkeeper Kristian Nicht. The ball ricochet off the German’s face and into the net for the 1-1. At this point the Canadian squad could still aspire to the 2015 FIFA Clubs World Cup.
Oribe Peralta began the turnaround in the 64th minute with a header. Unbelievably, the Canadian squad began to show signs of fatigue. Before the Impact could regroup, Benedetto appeared again to make the game 3-1. Montreal began to see the title slip away. At that point the MLS squad needed to convert three goals in order to win.
“Montreal played the same in both halves,” Matosas added. “What happened is that America fine-tuned their approach in the chances they created, they passed well and increased their shots on goal.”
Benedetto sealed his “hat trick” in the 81st minute when he faked out two defenders and shot a left footer to Nicht’s near right corner to put the game 4-1.
“The truth is you don’t play a final every day,” Benedetto said. “The team had been making great effort and I think that today’s result is going to help is in what is left in the [local] tournament.”
Montreal managed a final goal in the 89th minute with a combination that saw Jack McInerney put the ball past goalkeeper Moises Muñoz. But the eagles would hold on to claim their 6th CONCACAF title, matching Mexico City rival Cruz Azul. Club America will participate in the Japan 2015 FIFA Clubs World Cup in December.