Bojan scores first Impact goal
TORONTO, Ontario – In Wilmer Cabrera’s first game as head coach of the Impact, Montreal was defeated 2-1 by Toronto FC, Saturday night at BMO Field. After Bojan opened the scoring with a strike from outside the box early in the second half, his first in an Impact uniform, Marco Delgado was able to tie the game in the 63rd minute, while Justin Morrow scored the winning goal in the 81st minute, providing three points for the hosts.
“We’re disappointed with the result, because we didn’t come here to lose,” said Impact head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “We had a plan and it was working, but we have to play the game for 90 minutes. I think we did a lot of positive things throughout the game that we need to use more down this final stretch.”
New man in charge
Wilmer Cabrera’s first game at the Impact’s helm started with the hosts controlling possession, without however managing any clear chances on goal. But the Colombian’s troops were able to settle into the game and keep the ball well, finishing the half with the edge in possession, and allowing Toronto no shots on target.
The hosts got a chance on goal in the 18th minute, when Nick DeLeon chipped a ball in behind the defense for Erickson Gallardo following some quick passing in the final third, but his ensuing shot from a difficult angle was off target, missing the near post by a few inches.
In the 28th minute, after Saphir Taïder was able to keep the ball in play in his own defensive third, the Algerian was able to find Maxi Urruti upfield. The Argentine turned and immediately sent a ball in behind for Lassi Lappalainen, but defender Chris Mavinga was able to keep up with the Finn, tackling him before he could pierce into the box.
In the 40th minute, Lappalainen was at it again, this time coming in from the left side, beating his defender before providing a low cross into the middle for Ballou Tabla, but he couldn’t get a proper shot on goal and his effort missed just wide.
The Reds almost took advantage of a defensive mistake that allowed Gallardo to make his way in on goal unopposed, but Bacary Sagna, playing as a centre-back, was able to slide and get his foot on his pass across the box.
Bojan leaves his mark
The game’s first shot on goal finally came in the 49th minute, and it allowed the Impact to take the lead. After Bojan received the ball on the left flank with time, the Spaniard was able to cut in towards the middle, dribble past his man and unleash a powerful shot that ended up touching the post to Quentin Westberg’s right and hitting the back of the net.
It was Bojan’s first goal with the Montreal Impact in just his second start with his new club.
“We’re disappointed, because we’re losing games on small details,” said Impact forward Bojan. “Last week, it was about set pieces. I think we need to remain strong because we’re giving everything and we’re playing good games, but we need to stay solid until the end and play 90 minutes.”
But Toronto found its equalizer just less than a quarter-hour later, in the 63rd minute, when Alejandro Pozuelo, who entered the game at the half, found space and crossed into the box. Evan Bush was able to punch it away, but Marco Delgado was there first, and his shot made its way through traffic and into the back of the net.
The hosts then took the lead in the 81st minute. Michael Bradley, in possession in front of Montreal’s box, was able to pass to Jozy Altidore, with his back to the net, who passed to Justin Morrow on his first touch. The American immediately unleashed a shot that Bush got a hand on, but the ball tricked behind the Impact goalkeeper and past the touchline.
“I think we dropped too deep once we scored and absorbed too much pressure,” said Impact midfielder Ken Krolicki. “At the end, they made a good play in the box. It’s a difficult environment, so after we took the lead, we were maybe a little too careful going forward.”
The Impact will play four consecutive games at Stade Saputo after its game in Toronto. On Wednesday, August 28, at 8pm, the Vancouver Whitecaps FC will visit (TICKETS – TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690), before the arrival of Wayne Rooney and D.C. United on Saturday, August 31, at 7:30pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98.5, TSN 690). Following the international break, FC Cincinnati will visit Stade Saputo for the very first time on Saturday, September 14, at 7:30pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports). Finally, the Impact will bring an end to this home stretch by hosting Toronto FC in the first leg of the Canadian Championship final on Wednesday, September 18, at 7:30pm (TICKETS).
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Zachary Brault-Guillard, Bacary Sagna, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz; M-Ken Krolicki (Shamit Shome 90+2’), Saphir Taïder, Lassi Lappalainen, Ballou Tabla (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 69’, Jorge Corrales 83’); A-Maximiliano Urruti, Bojan
Subs not used – Clément Diop, Karifa Yao, Mathieu Choinière, Orji Okwonkwo
TOR – GK-Quentin Westberg; D-Auro, Chris Mavinga, Justin Morrow, Omar González; M-Erickson Gallardo (Richie Laryea 60’), Marco Delgado, Michael Bradley, Nick DeLeon (Alejandro Pozuelo 46’), Nicolas Benezet (Jonathan Osorio 80’); F-Jozy Altidore
Subs not used – Alex Bono, Drew Moor, Jacob Shaffelburg, Patrick Mullins
MTL – Bojan 49’
TOR – Delgado 63’
TOR – Morrow (Altidore, Bradley) 81’
MTL – Sagna 8’
TOR – Benezet 55’
TOR – Altidore 70’
TOR – Laryea 73’
TOR – Morrow 79’