The games against Toronto FC always mean something special for players, management and fans. The games always have controversial moments and are always entertaining. The Impact not only won in their first home game but did it in shutout fashion getting a 1-0 win.
First off, the lineup the Impact put on the pitch was not as expected at all, with Vargas as striker and Mancosu, who's shown some good stuff in the first two games of the season, not even in the 18 players selected.
Toronto and Montreal went back and forth setting up chances in the first 40 minutes of the game. While Toronto may have had more possession, the Impact achieved the best chances. In the 41st minute Piette dispossessed Bradley in center field and managed to distribute the ball to Piatti at the same time. Piatti ran up the field before passing the ball to his right to Vargas. Vargas took a powerful shot, with a lucky deflection, the ball got passed Toronto keeper Bono.
Coming back from halftime the Impact got on the pitch and kept the tempo from the first. In the 55th and 58th minute Piatti, Taider and Vargas combined to create some nice plays. The best one being in the 58th minute when Piatti and Taider did a one two touch play but Taider's shot when just just wide.
From that point on, to the end of the game, it was obvious that Toronto were attempting to make the comeback. They got a little more control of the game, except for a few opportunistic bursts by the Impact. The biggest chance or mistake of the game, was Piatti's impressive play alone up the pitch where he was tackled at the top of the box. The crowd, with reason, was displeased that there was no call on the play.
After a few occasions, including a 63rd minute chip by Altidore that made it's way over Bush but went wide, the stadium went silent for a moment in the 84th minute. Altidore who was almost alone in front of Bush took a powerful shot, Cabrera attempted the block, Bush got a hand on it but it was trickling in. Just when Toronto thought they had tied the game, Petrasso managed to clear the ball off the line and save the Impact from another last minute disapointment.
While the possession may have gone back and forth, a little more in Toronto's favor, the Impact decided the tempo of the game and made multiple nice plays. With a little more luck and more experience with each other, this team could be a threat as they showed the 2017 MLS Champions today.
- ROOOOOOD: While I am not ready to say or even willing to give another the nickname of the general, Rod Fanni was a breath of fresh air. He was vocal with his teammates, had Altidore in his back pocket and made a number of important clearances and interceptions. Hopefully, this wasn't a one game instance and he can replicate this great showing. He may not be the goal scorer but definitely my man of the match.
- TIC-TAC-TOE: One thing we saw numerous times in the game today, was one two plays and great link up passes to create scoring opportunities. The developing chemistry among the players is apparent and with the eventual arrival of Silva we may have quite an offensive threat on our hands.
- BULLDOG: If someone from Toronto was dispossessed in the middle of the field today good chances are Piette had something to do with. Not only did he manage to upset Giovinco a few times, which is always amusing, but he was also there the moment Bradley had the ball limiting a key element of Toronto's strategy. Piette displayed an aggressive and aware behavior in his game, it was great to see and made the lives of the defensive line much easier.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Michael Petrasso, Rod Fanni, Víctor Cabrera, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Saphir Taïder, Ken Krolicki (Louis Béland-Goyette 66’); F-Jeisson Vargas (Marco Donadel 84’), Ignacio Piatti (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 90’+4’)
Subs not used – Clément Diop, Chris Duvall, Dominic Oduro, Marco Donadel, Raheem Edwards
TOR – GK-Alex Bono; D-Eriq Zavaleta, Drew Moor, Nick Hagglund (Marco Delgado 59’); M-Gregory Van der Wiel, Ager Aketxe (Nicolas Hasler 59’), Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio, Ashtone Morgan (Auro 66’); F-Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco
Subs not used – Clint Irwin, Chris Mavinga, Jay Chapman, Jordan Hamilton
MTL – Vargas (Piatti) 41’
MTL – Piette 32’
TOR – Bradley 35’
MTL – Krolicki 38’
MTL – Vargas 53’
MTL – Cabrera 90’+4’
MTL – Donadel 90’+6’