- Jozy Altidore scores again.
- Toronto win 7-5 on aggregate.
- Sebastian Giovinco goes down with an injury.
Toronto FC make Canadian soccer history, by becoming the first team from the great white north to reach the final of the MLS Cup.
Toronto vs Montreal Impact 5-2
Goals: 0-1 Oduro (23’) 1-1 Cooper (36’) 2-1 Altidore (44’) 2-2 Piatti (52’) 3-2 Hagglund (67’) 4-2 Cheyrou (98’) 5-2 Ricketts (100’)
Toronto came roaring into this one with Michael Bradley linking up with superstar Sebastian Giovinco in the early stages of the game, but Evan Bush stopped the Italians backheel attempt. Just moments later Jozy Altidore used his physique to break away from Montreal’s defence picking out Giovinco in the centre, but Marco Donadel had rushed back, and the Montreal defender stripped the Italian off the ball with a wonderful challenge. Halfway through the first interval Montreal managed to settle the game down, and slowly took control over proceedings. It was therefore not surprising that Montreal would open the scoring after Dominic Oduro received a wonderful ball by Matteo Mancuso, and then made no mistake to poke the ball passed keeper Clint Irwin. Needing two goals at this point Toronto went on the attack, and their efforts were rewarded when Armando Cooper scored from close range after a corner kick, and then just before the halftime team Jozy Altidore brought Toronto in front with a header after another corner kick.
Montreal started the second interval on the forefoot, as Impact star Ignacio Piatti made the equalizer happen when he won a footrace in the box, and the ball ricocheted of a Toronto defender, and then trickled past Irwin into Toronto’s net. Toronto pressed hard to score the aggregate equalizer, and were rewarded when defender Nick Hagglund scored a wonderful header to make it 3-2 on the night, and 5-5 on aggregate. The match became tenser, as the next goal would be decisive, and both sides pressed for what would be the winner with Ricketts and Altidore having chances to win the series for Toronto. Instead the match would need extra time.
Five minutes into extra time Toronto FC superstar Giovinco went down with an injury, and had to be brought off. Ironically it was Giovinco’s replacement Benoît Cheyrou, who brought Toronto ahead with a wonderful header from inside the six-yard box, and then shortly after Tosaint Ricketts all but booked Toronto’s spot in the MLS Cup Playoff final. Montreal worked desperately to get back into the tie, but the two goal gap was to much to overcome.
Man of the Match
American Jozy Altidore rose up to the occasion, as the 6ft 1 used his body to great effect to create several scoring chances, but also to heavily bruise up several opposing players. A hefty challenge in the first half took out Montreal midfielder Hernán Bernadello, who was missed in the second half when he had to be substituted. Altidore has now scored in every single playoff game this season.
Toronto vs Montreal – Talking Point
For a second time in history Toronto will host the MLS Cup Final, as BMO Field hosted the final in 2010 when Colorado Rapids defeated FC Dallas 2-1 to win their first and only MLS Cup. Until 2012 the MLS Cup final was held at a neutral venue, but starting with the 2012 final the higher-ranking regular season team of the two finalists wins the right to host the final. As a result Toronto FC will meet the Seattle Sounders at home at BMO Field on December 10, as Toronto has collected 53 points in the regular season, as opposed to Seattle’s 48 points in what will be a historic final for Canada.
Toronto vs Montreal – Match Stats
- Jozy Altidore has scored ten goals in the last 13 games.
- Altidore became the first player to score in the first five playoff games.
- Toronto have lost just one game in the last seven games.
- Montreal used the same starting line-up in all their playoff matches this season.
- Toronto become the first team to reach the final after losing the first leg of a semi-final tie.
- Toronto are the first Canadian team to reach the MLS Cup Final.
Toronto vs Montreal – Line-ups
Irwin – Hagglund, Moor, Zavaleta – Morrow, Johnson (Ricketts 62’), Bradley, Cooper (Osorio 87’), Beitashour – Giovinco (Cheyrou 95’), Altidore
Coach: Greg Vanney
Bush – Oyongo, Ciman, Cabrera, Camara – Bernardello (Venegas 45’), Donadel, Bernier (Shipp 102) – Piatti, Mancuso (Drogba 72’), Oduro
Coach: Mauro Biello