Report: Impact will find out playoff fate on Sunday after 1-0 loss in Toronto
TORONTO, Ontario - The Montreal Impact was shutout 1-0 by Toronto FC at BMO Field in its final game of the 2013 regular season on Saturday afternoon in Toronto. Despite the loss, the Impact remains in the hunt for a playoff spot, but needs a little help from one of three teams still in the race.
Toronto scored the game winning goal in the 16th minute following a turnover in midfield. Midfielder Jonathan Osorio fired a shot after striker Bright Dike managed to keep possession inside the box. Osorio’s attempt was redirected by forward Robert Earnshaw, catching Impact keeper Troy Perkins going the opposite way.
The Impact currently sits in third place in the Eastern Conference, ahead of 4th place Chicago Fire (49 pts) on tiebreakers, 5th place New England Revolution (48 pts) and the 6th seed Houston Dynamo (48 pts).
Houston would need to beat D.C. United in Washington Sunday at 1:30pm to supplant the Impact. New England would need to win in Columbus tomorrow at 4pm, while Chicago would have to tie the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena at 5pm.
"The way we played in the first half was not very good," said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. "We were too nervous, losing battles. The second half was better, but without scoring, we can't win the game. We had some chances in the second half, but just couldn't score."
"It's tough, we are all really disappointed," said Hassoun Camara. "We knew how important this game was. We had a lot of scoring chances and in the end, we couldn't score and that was the difference in the game."
“We spoke all week about not letting in a goal in the first half,” said Marco Di Vaio. “If the game was tied at half, it would have been a different story. We didn’t panic but we did have a tough time here.”
In the 26th minute, Impact mid Justin Mapp cut to his left foot down the right flank and played a cross into the box that found Wenger, but the Impact striker’s header missed short post.
Forward Andrew Wenger got his head onto a corner kick played to the short post in the 32nd minute, but his redirect just missed short side.
One minute later, TFC’s Earnshaw found himself alone charging towards goal as Dike won a deep ball in the air from a goal kick, but Perkins charged out of his net, making himself big to block the forward’s attempt.
- Read: Match statistics
TFC came close again in the 38th minute when midfielder Kyle Bekker, after moving the ball around the top of the 18, fired a left-footed shot that dipped off the crossbar.
Five minutes later, Earnshaw hammered one from outside the box that forced Perkins to tip the ball over the bar.
The Impact made two substitutions in the 57th minute in an attempt to breathe life into the offence, bringing on Andrea Pisanu and Collen Warner for Felipe and Davy Arnaud.
Arnaud was inches away from tying things up in the 53rd minute. After Di Vaio played a long switch to Mapp from midfield, the Italian striker made a run into the box to receive the return pass. Played a little behind him, Di Vaio deflected the ball over to Arnaud, but the captain’s point blank shot was just tipped away by the outstretched hand of TFC keeper Joe Bendik.
In the 65th minute, midfielder Pisanu redirected a cross towards the far post, but his header rolled just wide.
Defender Hassoun Camara penetrated the box in the 71st minute, playing a short ball to Wenger six yards out, but the forward’s one-timer was off-target by mere inches.
Some confusion ensued in the 81st minute following a corner kick and the ball fell to TFC defender Scott Caldwell in close, but his shot was cleared off the line by Impact midfielder Hernan Bernardello.
Impact midfielder Andres Romero, who came on in the 84th minute, brought down a long ball played in behind the TFC defence by Mapp with one touch before firing a shot that forced Bendik to make a spectacular diving stop, completely outstretched to his left.
2014 season tickets
MTL – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Karl W. Ouimette (Andrés Romero 84’), Matteo Ferrari, Wandrille Lefèvre, Hassoun Camara; M-Hernan Bernardello, Davy Arnaud (Andrea Pisanu 57’), Felipe (Collen Warner 57’), Justin Mapp; F-Marco Di Vaio, Andrew Wenger
Subs not used: GK-Evan Bush; D-Maxim Tissot, Jeb Brovsky; F-Sanna Nyassi
TOR – GK-Joe Bendik; D-Steven Caldwell, Mark Bloom,Ashtone Morgan, Doneil Henry; M-Jonathan Osorio, KyleBekker, Bobby Convey, Alvaro Rey (Jeremy Hall 73’); F-Bright Dike (Justin Braun 84’), Robert Earnshaw (Gale Agbossoumonde 90’)
Subs not used: GK-Stefan Frei; D-Jonas Elmer; M-ReggieLambe; F- Andrew Wideman
TOR – Earnshaw (Osorio) 16’
TOR – Earnshaw 23’
MTL – Bernardello 23’
MTL – Mapp 26’
MTL – Lefèvre 90+’
MTL – Ferrari 90+’