- Match was delayed as the penalty boxes were drawn to small.
- Montreal stormed out of the gate to take an early lead.
- Despite going down early Toronto rallied to keep the tie close before going back to Toronto.
After a major delay Impact de Montréal and Toronto FC kicked off the first leg of an historic Eastern Conference Championship final with Montreal now holding a small advantage after a narrow victory in the first leg.
Montreal vs Toronto 3-2
Goals: 1-0 Oduro (10’) 2-0 Mancuso (12’) 3-0 Oyongo (53’) 3-1 Altidore (69’) 3-2 Bradley (73’)
In what was an aggressive start between the two Canadian rivals it was the Impact, who would take the lead, as Dominic Oduro made no mistake to complete a wonderful breakaway for his club, and moments later Montreal made it 2-0 when Ignacio Piatti found Matteo Mancuso in the centre of the box, and the forward had to simply tap the ball passed Toronto FC keeper Clint Irwin. Toronto attempted to respond, and Sebastian Giovinco had the biggest chance after he broke through on the right side, but his shot went wide of the goal. Indeed Montreal did well to contain Toronto, and Piatti could have made it 3-0 just before his halftime, but his chip after a breakaway went over the crossbar.
Giovinco had the first major chance of the second half, as the Italian wiggled himself through Montreal’s defence, but his close range shot was collectively stopped by Montreal’s defence. Instead Montreal got the third goal with Ambroise Oyongo driving home a magnificent play after he collected the ball in his own half, and then capped off his single effort with a shot from 20 yards that slipped passed Toronto goalkeeper Irwin. Montreal seemed to run away with the score when Toronto claimed the important through a header by Jozy Altidore, and shortly after the comeback was on when Michael Bradley made it 3-2.
Man of the Match
Montreal’s forward Dominic Oduro was the man of the match. Oduro gave Montreal an early lead, and was a constant threat to Toronto’s backline in the first half. The 31-year-old forward will be key for Montreal, as the tie shifts to Toronto.
Montreal vs Toronto – Talking Point
Toronto will be aggrieved by the fact that the organizers of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium were unable to get the dimensions of the penalty box right. Both club’s had to of course deal with the delay of the match, but as the home-side this was always going to play into Montreal’s card, which indeed stormed out to take a quick lead. But the biggest damage will be done to the organizers. Before the match Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that “this is a major milestone for Canadian club soccer,” something that seemed to have gotten lost to the organizers.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 23, 2016
Montreal vs Toronto – Match Stats
- This was the first time in the MLS Cup that Toronto went behind.
- Mancuso has now scored four goals in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
- Nine of the players in Montreal’s starting eleven were over 30 years old.
- This was only the second time in the season that Toronto went down by three goals.
Bush – Oyongo, Ciman, Cabera, Camara (Toia 81’) – Bernardello, Donadel, Bernier (Venegas 87’) – Piatti, Mancosu (Drogba 70’), Oduro
Coach: Mauro Biello
Irwin – Moor, Hagglund, Zavaleta – Morrow, Bradley, Osorio (Ricketts 57’), Cooper (Johnson 57’), Beitashour (Bloom 91’) – Altidore, Giovinco
Coach: Greg Vanney