The Puerto Rico Islanders came away the victors Saturday evening in the first clash of the two CONCACAF Champions League participants, edging the visiting Montreal Impact 3-2 in a back-and-forth affair.
In the 26th minute of play, Montreal's Kevin Sakuda opened the scoring, notching his first career goal in the Impact uniform after numerous years in Seattle. Roberto Brown made a short pass to Eduardo Sebrango, who immediately relayed it with a header to Sakuda, who was behind the Islanders' defense. Sakuda ran over a few meters before executing a point-blank shot that left no chance for Islanders goalkeeper Bill Gaudette.
Islanders defender John Krause netted an equalizing goal at the 38th minute on a header from midfielder Sandy Gbandi's corner kick.
Gbandi then gave the lead to the Islanders in the second half, heading in a cross at the near post from defender Christian Arrieta in the 61st minute.
Less than five minutes after entering the game, midfielder Joey Gjertsen scored an equalizer in the 77th minute, beating goalkeeper Bill Gaudette with a low, left-footed shot.
Forward Kendall Jagdeosingh scored the game-winning goal at the 82nd minute, following a pass from Fabrice Noel that bounced over goalkeeper Matt Jordan. Jagdeosingh easily netted the ball in an empty goal.
USL First Division
Thursday, April 30
Carolina RailHawks 0, Portland Timbers 0
The RailHawks maintained their unbeaten status in their first road contest of the year while the Timbers were unable to find a win in their home opener. Caleb Patterson tallied the clean sheet for the visitors while Chris Seitz, on last-minute loan from Real Salt Lake due to a Steve Cronin injury, mirrored the effort at the other end.
Friday, May 1
Rochester Rhinos 3, Cleveland City Stars 0
A dreary, rain-soaked night was not all that spoiled the home opener for the promoted City Stars. Two great stops by Hunter Gilstrap against the Rhinos kept the score at zeros to the break, but Tai Atieno made up for his missed point-blank effort earlier with a penalty conversion in the 49th. A controversial Johnny Menyongar goal made it 2-0 in the 55th, and Mike Ambersley, seconds after entering, tapped home the final strike on a bobbled save in the 78th.
Saturday, May 2
Vancouver Whitecaps 3, Minnesota Thunder 2
The defending champions found their first victory of the year in a thrilling contest on the road. St Vincent and the Grenadines international Marlon James more than impressed in his debut, notching a hat trick for the Whitecaps and opening the scoring in the 35th minute. Ricardo Sanchez leveled for Minnesota three minutes into the second half only to see James strike again in the 61st. Sanchez tallied a second time eight minutes later and it appeared the two were destined for the draw until a 90th-minute penalty completed the hat trick for James.
Charleston Battery 1, Miami FC Blues 0
Miami found itself in a hole early with the send-off of defender Walter Ramirez just 18 minutes into the match, but the visiting Battery were unable to capitalize until Tsuyoshi Yoshitake found Ian Fuller for the game-winning header in the 73rd.
Portland Timbers 2, Carolina RailHawks 0
The Timbers finally found the back of the net, handing Carolina its first loss in five games. Brian Farber broke the scoreless stretch five minutes in on an assist from Ryan Pore. Pore would find the back of the net himself seven minutes from time to secure the victory.
USL Second Division
Crystal Palace Baltimore headed to the Carolinas for two contests, posting a 2-0 win on two strikes in the final 10 minutes against the Charlotte Eagles on Friday. The following night Palace was stunned by Wilmington, which struck all three in the second half of a 3-0 win. Harrisburg also found the road a difficult place this week, dropping a 2-1 decision to Bermuda in a match that saw all three strikes in the final 10 minutes. Richmond, however, was 2-0 victors at Western Mass on Saturday. Pittsburgh downed visiting Real Maryland 2-1.
USL Premier Development League
The PDL opened with limited action. Among the highlights were the expansion Victoria Highlanders, who won 1-0 in Spokane on Friday and returned north of the border for a 2-2 draw on the road against 2008 PDL semifinalist Vancouver. In a battle of the top two teams from the Northeast last year, defending division champion Brooklyn took a narrow 2-1 decision on the road against Newark.