MONTREAL, Quebec – The Montreal Impact came from behind to qualify for the Amway Canadian Championship final series thanks to a 6-0 drubbing of Toronto FC at Stade Saputo, Wednesday night, taking the two game aggregate series 6-2. The Impact will face the winner of the Vancouver and Edmonton semi-final series.
Forwards Marco Di Vaio, with two goals and two assists, Daniele Paponi, Andrew Wenger, Justin Mapp and Andres Romero all scored in the win, while goalkeeper Evan Bush registered the shutout.
The Impact opened the scoring in the 24th minute when Mapp slotted home his first goal in 2013. Midfielder Andres Romero’s attempted lateral pass through the box from deep down the left flank was blocked, but forward Daniele Paponi managed to find the rebound and played the ball through to Mapp, who made no mistake from about 10 yards out.
The Impact’s second goal came thanks to a buildup that started in the back in the 34th minute. Defender Wandrille Lefèvre, making his first ever start, played a long ball towards Jeb Brovsky near the touch line, right of centre. Brovsky used the outside of his foot to play Mapp into space. The Impact’s opening goal scorer then cut towards goal and fired a shot that was stopped by TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei, but the rebound fell to Paponi, who notched his first ever goal in Impact blue.
Shortly after, Paponi was forced to sub out with an injury in the 37th minute, replaced by Marco Di Vaio. The Impact striker made his presence felt in the 44th minute when he finished off a cross that was played towards the penalty spot by Mapp. The midfielder took a step to beat his defender after corralling a short aerial pass by Romero and then played the ball just behind Di Vaio, who took one touch to bring the ball down before spinning and firing it past Frei.
Di Vaio then set up Romero with a beautiful through ball in the 61st minute that the Argentinean ran down near the half-circle before playing it away from the charging keeper and putting into the back of the net from about eight yards out near the right post.
The former Bologna man scored his second of the game in extra time when Mapp fired a shot from just outside the box after cutting towards centre field. Frei jumped to push the ball away, but the rebound found Di Vaio who buried it into an open net from in tight.
With seconds ticking away, the Impact’s number 9 played a long ball from near the flank at half-field behind the TFC defence, curling towards a streaking Andrew Wenger near the half-circle, who took one touch before putting it low past Frei to his right.
Daniele Paponi, with a hamstring, and Davy Arnaud, with concussion like symptoms, were forced to leave the game in the second half.
Goalkeeper Evan Bush, who had to get a tape job done on his nose following a collision with Hassoun Camara in the late stages of the game, finished the game.
“To come back from a game in which we suffered like we did in the first leg, we showed the high level that this team can play at,” said head coach Marco Schällibaum. “Tonight, we wanted to win without a doubt. I am very proud to be the coach of this team and proud of the guys tonight.”
“Today was a game about pride and character,” said midfielder Patrice Bernier. “We answered the critics from last week and we played a game that the fans will remember for a long time.”
“A cup game is always a dog fight and we came out of it on the better end tonight,” said defender Jeb Brovsky. “These are the games I live for, with a rival coming in. We knew we had to get some goals and we knew we had to be very tuned in today with Toronto taking advantage of our mistakes last game.”
MLS regular season action will resume on the road this Saturday versus the San Jose Earthquakes at 4pm (ET) and will be broadcast live on TVA Sports.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Maxim Tissot, Hassoun Camara, Wandrille Lefèvre, Jeb Brovsky; M- Patrice Bernier, Justin Mapp, Davy Arnaud (Collen Warner 52’), Andrés Romero (Sanna Nyassi 90+); F-Daniele Paponi (Marco Di Vaio 38’), Andrew Wenger
Unused subs: GK-Troy Perkins; D-Dennis Iapichino, Karl W. Ouimette; M-Felipe
TOR – GK-Stefan Frei; D- Ashtone Morgan, Doneil Henry, Danny Califf, Ryan Richter; M-Jonathan Osorio (Ashton Bennett 74’), Kyle Bekker (Jeremy Hall 46’), John Bostock, Reggie Lambe; F-Robert Earnshaw, Andrew Wiedeman (Luis Silva 46’)
Unused subs: GK-Joe Bendik; D-Gale Agbossoumonde, Darren O’Dea; F- Emery Welshman
MTL – Mapp 24’
MTL – Paponi 33’
MTL – Di Vaio (Mapp) 44’
MTL – Romero (Di Vaio) 61 ’
MTL – Di Vaio 90’
MTL – Wenger (Di Vaio) 94’
TOR – Henry 14’
TOR – Lambe 17’
MTL – Tissot 25’