NCC: De Rosario leads Toronto past Montreal

Dwayne De Rosario

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A clinical finish and a
skillful assist by Dwayne De Rosario goal gave defending champion
Toronto FC a 2-0 win in a rough-and-tumble opening match of the Nutrilite
Canadian Championship at BMO Field on Wednesday night.

TFC captain De Rosario opened the
scoring in the 11th minute when he pounced on a rebound from a Sam Cronin
corner kick at the top of the Montreal six-yard box.

Last week’s MLS Player of
the Week and four-time MLS All-star swung around and converted the bouncing
ball during a goalmouth scramble with a low hard shot to give Toronto a 1-0
lead for his fifth goal of the 2010 season.

During the fight for the
ball in front of goal, Montreal ’keeper Matt Jordan was issued a yellow card as
he made an ill-timed two-footed slide tackle on Toronto defender Ty Harden
while attempting to break up the play.

Jordan missed the ball and
instead made hard studs-up contact with Harden, who was stretchered off the
field with a laceration to his knee and was replaced by defender Raivis

De Rosario then set up
Toronto’s second goal in 62nd minute with a clever left side-footed pass to Chad Barrett.

Barrett quickly controlled
the pass, and then stepped around
Montreal defenders Cedric Joqueviel and Adam Braz before calmly stroking a shot
past Jordan to give Toronto a 2-0 lead.

Montreal were forced to
play the final 54 minutes of the match a man down after losing veteran striker
Roberto Brown to a red card in the 36th minute. Brown delivered a not-too-subtle
punch to the face of Toronto defender Nick Garcia during an off-the-ball incident
in the Reds' penalty area, and the referee wasted no time in reaching to his
pocket and delivering the Panamanian international striker his marching orders.

After spending several
minutes on the ground being attended to by training staff, Garcia left the game
and was replaced by forward O’Brien White.

The referee handed out a
total of six yellow cards and was kept busy by calling a
total of 24 fouls.

Montreal, who won the
inaugural 2007 club tournament, were not without their chances as Toronto
goalkeeper Stefan Frei was called on to make a spectacular diving save during
first half injury time on a scorching 30 yard free kick from midfielder
Leonardo Di Lorenzo.

The Impact have yet to
beat Toronto in three years of competition, with Toronto winning four meetings
and tying once while outscoring Montreal 11-2.

The Nutrilite Canadian
Championship is a three-team home-and-home round-robin tournament that serves
as a qualifier for the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. The winner of the
tournament earns a berth in the preliminary round of the annual continental
competition with the winner advancing to the FIFA Club World Cup.

Toronto FC (2-3-0 in MLS
action) play their next regular-season match on Saturday when they visit
Real Salt Lake at Real Tinto Stadium. Their next match in the Nutrilite
Canadian Championship is at Montreal’s Saputo Stadium on May 12.

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