TORONTO, Ontario - An 84th minute goal by winger Dominic Oduro, Wednesday night at BMO Field, qualified the Montreal Impact for the Amway Canadian Championship finals.
After falling 3-2 in Toronto, following IMFC’s 1-0 victory at home last week, the team moved to the next round on away goals. The Impact will now face the winner of the other series between the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and FC Edmonton, later this summer, on August 12 and 26.
“Both sides had their chances to put it away, but we got that away goal we needed off of a great ball,” said Oduro. “We are excited about it because at the end of the day, this is a win for us. Going forward, we need everyone to pitch in.”
Starting its three DPs, Toronto scored the first goal of the game when two of them connected down the left flank in the 22nd minute. Italian Sebastian Giovinco played striker Jozy Altidore in behind the Impact’s defence, where the American international made no mistake, chipping Eric Kronberg.
However, IMFC found an equalizer just three minutes later off of a corner kick by Maxim Tissot. Calum Mallace volleyed a one-timer towards goal and forward Kenny Cooper, making his first start of the season, redirected the ball from in tight.
TFC then found two quick goals in the second half while the Impact was down a man as Tissot was receiving treatment off the pitch. Altidore played the ball across the box to Benoit Cheyrou, who tapped it home in the 56th minute, while Giovinco curled one in far post as he broke in alone on goal two minutes later.
The Bleu-blanc-noir continued to press when Eric Miller found some space down the right flank with just six minutes left. The right back played a long cross from down the right flank that found a leaping Oduro, who headed home the series-clinching goal.
“I felt we had the game under our terms in the first half and then the unfortunate incident with Tissot changed the game,” said head coach Frank Klopas. “We had to make some changes and push the game to find that second goal that we needed.”
“We allowed three goals, that was too much,” said defender Laurent Ciman. “There was a let down in the second half again and we have to work on that, but we are pleased to be moving on.”
Although TFC had much of the possession early on, IMFC had some of the better chances. Defender Laurent Ciman fired a free kick that bounced off the keeper’s chest in the 4th minute Then Dilly Duka found Cooper, who left in the 30th minute following an injury, but his high blast was parried away seven minutes later from inside the box.
A desperation slide by a TFC defender saved his side from going down a goal late in the first half when Duka, breaking in on goal down the left flank, saw his shot slightly deflected, banging off the post.
Impact goalkeeper Eric Kronberg made the save of the game off of Jonathan Osorio from point blank range. Kronberg then stopped a Michael Bradley shot from just outside the box in the 72nd minute.
The Impact will play its next regular season game this Saturday, at 4pm, against Real Salt Lake at Stade Saputo (Tickets: ticketsmaster.ca). Supporters can take advantage of the club’s Combo no.12 promotion by calling 514-328-3668.
MTL – GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Eric Miller, Laurent Ciman, Wandrille Lefèvre, Maxim Tissot; M-Patrice Bernier, Calum Mallace (Ignacio Piatti 68’), Dilly Duka (Andrés Romero 64’), Eric Alexander, Dominic Oduro; F-Kenny Cooper (Jack McInerney 32’)
Subs not used: GK-Evan Bush; D-Bakary Soumare, Nigel Reo-Coker; M-Marco Donadel
TOR – GK-Chris Konopka; D-Ashtone Morgan, Damien Perquis, Eriq Zavaleta, Justin Morrow (Nick Hagglund 89’); M-Benoit Cheyrou, Collen Warner, Jonathan Osorio (Warren Creavalle 81’), Michael Bradley; F-Jozy Altidore (Luke Moore 81’), Giovinco
Subs not used: GK-Quillan Roberts; M-Daniel Lovitz, Jay Chapman; F-Jordan Hamilton
TOR – Altidore (Giovinco) 22’
MTL – Cooper (Mallace, Miller) 25’
TOR – Cheyrou (Altidore, Bradley) 56’
TOR – Giovinco (Altidore) 58’
MTL – Oduro (Miller, McInerney) 84’
MTL – Oduro 16’
MTL – Bernier 63’
TOR – Giovinco 73’
MTL – Kronberg 90+5’