Montreal defeats Toronto FC in penalty shootout
Toronto, ONTARIO – The Montreal Impact has won its 10th Voyageurs Cup, defeating Toronto FC 3-1 in a penalty shootout, Wednesday night at BMO Field, after the game finished 1-0 in favour of Toronto FC in normal time, to win the Canadian Championship and qualify for the 2020 Concacaf Champions League. It’s also the second time the Montreal club has won the Voyageurs Cup at BMO Field.
“They deserve to win this for the fans, for the city of Montreal, and obviously for the club that’s made every effort to put all of this together,” said Impact head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “I also have to share this trophy with Rémi Garde and Nick De Santis, who are not here today but who have worked hard all season. This game was played in two halves. The first one Toronto dominated, but we came out stronger in the second, with a better mentality, and we decided to go after them. When we did that, we showed we could hurt them. Despite conceding, we continued creating good options in attack and we finished the game stronger than them. I am proud of the players, because we showed why we deserved to win this trophy.”
Defender Zachary Brault-Guillard, who played an integral part in the opening game against Toronto FC, was awarded the Young Player award, while Nacho Piatti, with four goals in this year’s tournament, was awarded the George Gross Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player of the Canadian Championship.
Scoreless at the half
Head coach Wilmer Cabrera held true to his promise, fielding an offensive line-up at BMO Field, opting to have his team look for the away goal rather than sit back and defend its one-goal lead. In the ninth minute, an offensive move from Montreal saw defender Jukka Raitala find some space on the left flank, allowing him to cross a ball into the box for Nacho Piatti, but goalkeeper Alex Bono punched the ball away.
In the 13th minute, the visitors attacked from the right flank, this time when Bacary Sagna floated a ball in behind the defense for Maxi Urruti, but the Argentine’s shot from a difficult angle went just over the bar.
The hosts created their best chance in the 22nd minute, when a cross from Tsubasah Endoh from the left flank fell perfectly for Jozy Altidore. The American’s shot from close range was blocked by a sliding Victor Cabrera.
In the 26th minute, the Impact struck on the counter, with Cabrera playing a long ball for Piatti from his own half. The Designated Player controlled it well and cut in towards the middle before unleashing a shot that Bono was able to parry.
“We wanted to win for the people around us every day, whether it’s the players, the coaches, the medical staff, administration, or the social media guys,” said Impact midfielder Samuel Piette. “You also want to win it for the city, the fans, the province. It’s big, especially this year with more teams. It’s a more serious competition, with more clubs in Canada. Now we have an opportunity to go to Champions League and represent Montreal, Quebec, and Canada. That’s quite special.”
Missed penalty call in the second
The hosts looked for their main man up front early in the second half, when Justin Morrow swung in a ball towards Altidore in the 47th minute, but his header was wide of the mark and no trouble for goalkeeper Clément Diop.
In the 51st minute, defender Richie Laryea ran the ball from his own half all the way to the Impact’s goal line, passing to Jonathan Osorio at the top of the box. The Canadian international hit it first time, but his shot rattled the post to the left of Diop and stayed out.
Montreal struck twice on the counter minutes after, first when Shamit Shome was played in behind the defense on the right flank, before cutting in and finding Piatti in the box, the Argentine couldn’t get a shot off. Then, it was Bojan who passed for Urruti in similar position, but his shot was stopped comfortably by Bono.
In the 64th minute, Bojan passed for Shome on the right side, who immediately found Urruti. The forward crossed in a ball towards Clément Bayiha in the box that clearly touched Auro’s hand, but the referee called a corner.
Toronto then took the lead in the 70th minute. A corner played short was crossed in towards Osorio, who managed to shove the ball past a defender towards Endoh, and the forward was able to beat Diop, despite the French goalkeeper getting a piece of it.
In the 84th minute, Bojan received the ball in midfield and immediately found Lassi Lappalainen’s run in behind the defense. The Finn made his way in on goal unopposed but was fouled right outside the box by Chris Mavinga, who was immediately sent off by the referee. Bojan stepped up to take the ensuing free kick, but his attempt was inches away from the crossbar.
In the 90th minute, Piatti had a golden opportunity to tie the game and put his team up on aggregate, beating his man in front of the box and taking a left-footed shot, but he was stopped by the crossbar.
“I’ve been waiting a long time to get my hands on a trophy,” said Impact midfielder Nacho Piatti. “Today is a magnificent day for the entire team. We’ve put in a lot of effort since the beginning of the season, and holding this trophy feels good. Thanks to the entire group, because we stayed together. We won here and now we can return to the Champions League. I’ll never forget the final we reached, when we were 45 minutes away from playing clubs like Barcelona. I’ll always remember that game. It motivates us, and we hope to do well when the time comes.”
Bojan – GOAL
Lovitz – GOAL
Camacho – GOAL
Pozuelo – GOAL
Altidore – MISS
Mullins – MISS
Osorio – MISS
The Impact has just two games left in the 2019 MLS regular season. The next one is on Sunday, September 29, at 5pm at Stade Saputo against Atlanta United (TICKETS - TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690) and will be preceded by an IMFC Tailgate between Stade Saputo and the Olympic Stadium as of 1pm, where foodtrucks, a DJ, animations and more await. Montreal will finally put an end to its regular season on Sunday, October 6, when the New York Red Bulls visit Stade Saputo (TICKETS - TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690).
MTL – GK-Clément Diop; D-Bacary Sagna, Rudy Camacho, Victor Cabrera, Jukka Raitala (Daniel Lovitz 90+1’); M-Samuel Piette, Shamit Shome, Clément Bayiha, Maximiliano Urruti (Lassi Lappalainen 76’); F-Ignacio Piatti, Bojan
Subs not used – Evan Bush, Daniel Lovitz, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Mathieu Choinière, Amar Sejdic, Orji Okwonkwo
TOR – GK-Alex Bono; D-Richie Laryea (Auro 61’), Omar González, Chris Mavinga, Ashtone Morgan (Justin Morrow 46’); M-Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio, Alejando Pozuelo, Marco Delgado, Tsubada Endoh (Patrick Mullins 82’); F-Jozy Altidore
Subs not used – Quentin Westberg, Laurent Ciman, Erickson Gallardo, Patrick Mullins, Nick DeLeon
TOR – Endoh (Osorio) 70’
TOR – Bradley 7’
TOR – Mavinga 84’