TORONTO – Patrice Bernier had a very short and direct explanation for Montreal’s failure to leave BMO Field with three points on Saturday afternoon.
“Finishing,” Bernier told reporters after his team’s 0-0 draw against Toronto FC. “We got very good opportunities at the start, and we got good opportunities again at the end.
While Montreal’s early chances were all Andrew Wenger’s, his strike partner Marco Di Vaio got the Impact’s best looks in what proved a frantic second-half stoppage time. Davy Arnaud’s overlap on the right was followed by a low cross to the feet of the Impact's No. 9, but a block by Toronto's Richard Eckersley denied the Italian.
FULL LINEUPS AND BOXSCORE
Still, assistant coach Mike Sorber declared himself pleased with his team’s build-up play, which on another day might have translated into a goal.
“The fact that we got the chances speaks about how the midfield created them,” Sorber said. “Moving it from the backfield into the midfield, getting out wide, the crosses, that was all good. A good thing about good forwards is that usually, they forget about the last chance and then they get another one. Marco does a good job of that and he’ll have many more.”
On the day, there were four chances that came Di Vaio’s way, but the Impact designated player certainly wishes he'd had one more chance, and he can pinpoint the exact moment when he wanted it created: when Justin Mapp tried to feed Sanna Nyassi the ball instead of the unmarked Di Vaio on the right.
For the second straight game, the Italian’s body language revealed his disbelief that Mapp could not generate a clear goal scoring opportunity for him. And as Mapp pointed out, so did Di Vaio's spoken language.
OPTA Chalkboard: Finishing proves a challenge at BMO
“I’m not really sure, but it was loud and directed my way,” Mapp recalled.
“It was in Italian,” Di Vaio confirmed with a laugh. “It was better for him not to understand. He had the opportunity to put me through one-on-one, and it was an important moment in the game.”
But Di Vaio, like Bernier before him, mostly lamented the fact that, despite the number of chances, his teammates and him could not exact the revenge they feel Toronto’s 3-0 win at Stade Saputo earlier this season deserved.
“In the last 20, 25 minutes, we had several chances to score and to win the derby,” Di Vaio said. “It was so very important for us.”
Olivier Tremblay covers the Montreal Impact for MLSsoccer.com.