Toronto FC 2, Montreal Impact 1 | MLS Match Recap
TORONTO – Toronto FC continued their dominance in Canada's “401 Derby” with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon, paced by goals from Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore as Montreal's Laurent Ciman saw red in the late going.
The victory extends TFC's unbeaten streak to six matches over their rivals, who still have never won at BMO Field. But an injury to star Sebastian Giovinco – just called up to the Italian national team for next week's brace of Euro 2016 qualifiers – cast a pall over an otherwise gleeful afternoon for the Reds.
The match began slowly, undermanned Montreal allowing Toronto to control possession but working manfully to deny their path to goal and hit back on the break. It nearly worked, as the best chances of the opening half-hour would come the Impact's way on defensive miscues from TFC.
Toronto center back Josh Williams misplayed a ball to let in Montreal forward Dominic Oduro and TFC winger Daniel Lovitz underhit a back pass, but Oduro could not capitalize on either, rounding the goalkeeper and shooting horribly wide on the first and losing out to a sharp Chris Konopka on the second.
Having survived those scares, it was the hosts who took the lead in the 35th minute.
Giovinco was stymied up the middle by Montreal center back Victor Cabrera, so instead he played wide to Jonathan Osorio on the left. Osorio in turn picked out the near-post movement of Bradley with a square ball and the TFC captain guided his deft redirection across goalkeeper Eric Kronberg and into the far side of the goal.
Montreal would have a glorious opportunity to level before halftime when Maxim Tissot bore down the left. His low ball into the area for Oduro was touched towards goal, but Konopka recovered just in time to prevent the slow roller from crossing the line. That hurried clearance, however, fell straight into the path of the charging Johan Venegas – who hammered his effort well over the bar from close range.
Giovinco hobbled off just minutes into the second half with an apparent groin injury, though Altidore would calm the fans and extend the home side's lead soon after.
Osorio's dipping shot struck the top left corner of the woodwork in the 55th minute after Bradley had picked out the Canadian's run down the left side of the area, but Altidore stroked home the rebound for his third goal in the last two matches.
Montreal's Oduro was a constant – if wasteful – threat for the visitors, and finally made use of another good look to score in the 74th minute. The Ghanaian stabbed home a sharp finish against his former club following some good work down the left by Ambroise Oyongo and Andres Romero, the former playing to the latter, who charged to the endline before pulling back to Oduro.
However, any hopes of a Montreal comeback were extinguished in the 77th minute when Ciman was lured into a late foul on Toronto's Robbie Findley, earning his second yellow and a red card for his efforts, reducing his side to 10 men and dooming Montreal to a third straight defeat.
Both clubs return to league action on Saturday, Sept. 5, when Toronto travel to Seattle to face the Sounders (10 pm ET, MLS LIVE) and Montreal scamper home for a date against the Chicago Fire (8 pm ET, MLS LIVE).