Toronto FC continues its flawless domination over the Montreal Impact in the Canadian Championship with another win at BMO field. Toronto took full advantage of playing at home and scored 2 goals to definitely put pressure on the Impact to play to win during the return leg on May 1st.
At the 49th minute, Doneil Henry puts on his Robert Lewandowski costume and delivers a shot that beats Evan Bush. Henry picks up a ball ,after a weak clearance, right outside the half-circle and finds the top corner.
Ironically, Toronto FC takes a page off the Impact's playbook as it scored the second goal off a quick counter attack. In the 81st minute, off a bad giveaway pass by Karl W. Ouimette, Luis Silva finds a streaking Andrew Wiedeman. The TFC striker finds the wide space in the Impact's central defense and fires a low shot that goes past Bush.
The statistics sheet tells the story of the game made up of a dull first half and a more active second half.
(*) 16 Attempts On Goal for Toronto FC vs 4 Attempts On Goals for the Impact
(*) 6 Shots on Target for Toronto FC vs 0 Shots on Target for the Impact
(*) 60 Duels Won for Toronto FC vs 54 Duels Won for the Impact
How did The Bench Players do?
With 6 games to be played in 18 days, the loss against Toronto FC was the first hurdle and the Impact stumble on it. A big turnover in the starting XI was expected and announced by the club a few days before the game. Led by goalkeeper Evan Bush, Andrew Wenger was slotted as the only striker to start the game. In the midfield, Calum Mallace gets a start in the midfield next to Collen Warner who gets his first with the Montreal Impact in 2013.
Maxime Tissot got a start as the left back as the Impact fielded 2 Academy graduates in its back four. The recently acquired Daniele Paponi (off a loan from Bologna FC) also came in the game and played his first minutes with the Montreal Impact in official competition.
How did they do?
Except for Evan Bush that made important saves, none of the other ''bench players'' made a big impression
Calum Mallace: The tall physical midfielder had a difficult time as the whole Montreal midfield ( small exception for Bernier). He showed good intentions with a strong physical presence and interceptions. But his game was too scruffy and imprecise playing in a no man's land, never really in a set position.
Maxime Tissot: The most recent Academy graduate to join the pro team had a difficult time in his first start. It is no shock to see him suffer as there is not better place to learn than at the pro level. He did show some good intentions with some runs on the left that Justin Mapp did not take advantage of. The game seemed to fast and too physical for the youngster. It does not help to have Mapp as your defensive backup on the left.
Karl W. Ouimette: Even if he is slotted as a starter with Matteo Ferrari 3-week absence, he did not look at his best and was out of position many times but so was most of the team. He as more settled in the game as soon as the Impact had less sterile ball possession.
Daniele Paponi: Coming in later in the game, Paponi showed interesting potential but not enough to suddenly tag him as the club's savior. I would like to see him start a game alongside Marco Di Vaio and see his play in a less desperate situation.
Collen Warner: He has not shown the same confidence and efficiency than in 2012. He was not able to help establish the Impact's game in the midfield and was himself ''clumsy'' with dissapointing possession stats: 35 successful passes, 12 unsuccessful passes and 16 ''tackled and possession lost''.
Andrew Wenger: When can we really evaluate Andrew Wenger? When he is not getting enough minutes, he is not getting enough support when he plays alone up front. With a couple of nice plays to setup his teammates, his play with the defender at his back was not top but was not horrible. The potential is there to be that ''pivot'' striker with under-estimated speed but is it time to talk about the Wenger Identity?
The next leg will be on May 1st 2013 at 7;30 PM EST at Stade Saputo.