Toronto FC start defence with 2-0 win
Toronto FC scored two goals over ten-man Montreal Impact to take an early advantage in the 2010 Nutrilite Canadian Championship.
Player of the Match Dwayne De Rosario continued the strong form that earned him Major League Soccer Player of the Week honours last week, but his performance was overshadowed by costly injuries and cautions that littered the highly physical match before a tournament-record crowd of 21,436.
TFC lost defenders Ty Harden indefinitely to a leg laceration and Nick Garcia to a head injury at a crowded point in their schedule, which saw them play their second of three matches in a week.
Check out stats and standings at canadasoccer.com/championship
"I thought we did a good job of keeping our composure," said De Rosario. "When we got the goal, we kind of took our foot off the pedal a little bit, then they got a red card and we started to pick up our momentum.
"I think we did a lot better job in the second half in terms of picking up moments, keeping the ball, moving it side-to-side and building a nice rhythm."
With the win, TFC continued their dominance of the Impact. Toronto also improved their record over Montreal to four wins and a draw, while stretching the Impact's losing streak in the competition to five matches.
The tournament champion qualifies as Canada's entry into the CONCACAF Champions League.
Toronto opened the scoring in the 12th minute against the 2008 champions when De Rosario took advantage of a loose ball off a corner to strike the ball past a helpless Matt Jordan.
After the goal, though, there were four first-half cautions and the ejection of Montreal striker Roberto Brown for violent conduct after he struck TFC defender Nick Garcia in the head. Impact coach Marc Dos Santos claimed to have not seen the play, but the referee saw enough to warrant a straight red to the Panamanian.
"I didn't see the play," said Dos Santos. "If I see the play and it's a clear red card, for sure I'm gonna sit down with the player. For sure, he's gonna be in trouble because it's not fair for these guys who had to fight on their own."
That put Montreal in a big hole and it hardly tested Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei the rest of the way, with only three shots taken in total.
The last time these teams met, Toronto routed Montreal 6-1 in the final match of last year's tournament to beat out Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the title on goal differential. This time, Toronto didn't need as much firepower.
Barrett then put the game away in the 61st minute when he took a pass from De Rosario and eluded two Impact defenders in the penalty box before blasting the ball by Jordan.
Montreal will try to regroup when it travels to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps in the tournament's second match on Wednesday, May 5.
TORONTO FC 2 (1) MONTREAL IMPACT 0 (0)
Nutrilite Canadian Championship - Wednesday, April 28, 2010
BMO Field – Toronto, ON
Attendance : 21,346
Weather : Partly cloudy, 8°C
Referee : Paul Ward (CAN)
Assistant Referees : Darren Clark (CAN), Joe Fletcher (CAN)
Fourth Official : Justin Tasev (CAN)
Goals : TFC – DeRosario (12’); Barrett (61’)
Cautions : TFC – Cronin (23’); de Guzman (34’); Gargan (56’); Frei (80’). MONT – Pizzolitto (24’); Braz (45’)
Ejection : MTL – Brown (35’)
Players of the match : TFC - De Rosario. MTL - deRoux
TORONTO FC – Frei – Harden (Hscanovics 18’); Garcia (White 39’); Cann; Gargan – Cronin; de Guzman; Gala; Peterson (Labrocca 62’) – De Rosario; Barrett
Substitutes not used : Conway; Ibrahim; Saric; Usanov
Head Coach : Preki
MONTRÉAL IMPACT – Jordan – Joqueviel; deRoux; Pizzolitto; Braz – Donatelli; Di Lorenzo (Placentino 65’); Soares (Billy 42’); Testo – Byers (Sebrango 68’); Brown
Substitutes not used : Djekanovic; Aaboubou; Leduc; Gatti
Head Coach : Marc Dos Santos