By Eve Powell // @evejulia9
Montréal Impact vs. Toronto FC
For the third time in 10 days, for the fourth and perhaps final time this season, it was an umpteenth rendition of the Canadian Classique between Montréal Impact and Toronto FC. Following the massive upset caused when Vancouver Whitecaps beat TFC 3-2 on Saturday, the stakes were high.
With two matches in hand over TFC, a win for the Impact would all but seal their spot in the Canadian Championship final with but a point from their remaining matches against the Whitecaps. A draw, and the Impact would still control their destiny. A TFC win would require the Impact to win both upcoming matches in Vancouver, and by a wide margin.
With the benefit of a week’s rest, Thierry Henry started the same lineup as when his team had pulled off their 1-0 win at BMO Field. TFC saw Richie Laryea return to the lineup as Greg Vanney also sent out a largely unchanged team.
The first half allowed each team to dominate a spell. If the first 15 minutes belonged to the Impact, TFC grew into the match and took control of possession as they had done in previous clashes. Saphir Taïder notably had a hat-trick of missed chances and Romell Quioto saw a goal disallowed for offside, as a powerful run from Richie Laryea allowed Pablo Piatti to poke home the goal that gave TFC a 1-0 lead at halftime.
The second half began with Montréal laying siege to the Toronto half. Following a foul, the Impact were awarded a free kick which Victor Wanyama headed in after a deflection. The goal was initially called back as offside, but Impact players implored referee Dave Gantar to consult the Jumbotron as he awaited input from the VAR. After a lengthy review, the goal was awarded and the match was level at 1-1.
TFC would find their way back into what was a very hard-fought battle between the two teams. In the 88th minute, the Impact were awarded a free kick, which Rudy Camacho promptly passed directly to a TFC player who then laid a ball off to Jozy Altidore. The striker didn’t need a second invitation to punish the Impact’s mistake. He scored a goal in the 89′ to seal the match in TFC’s favor, 2-1.
This result means that the Canadian Championship finals will depend on the Impact’s performance in their upcoming matches in Vancouver. TFC will advance to the CanChamp final if the Impact does not win both matches against the Whitecaps while scoring more than the 10 goals TFC scored in 6 matches.
Featured image: Montréal Impact
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