Biello "disappointed" as Toronto FC play on despite Montreal Impact injury

Mauro Biello - thinking

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Impact and Toronto FC may be tied 1-1 after the first leg of the 2017 Canadian Championship final, but they had divergent reactions to the result at Stade Saputo on Wednesday night.

Toronto coach Greg Vanney sounded like his team dodged a bullet with the result.

"I think at times we were impatient, at times maybe made the wrong choice in the final action," Vanney said. "Obviously sometimes we just didn't connect the final action, just took a split-second too long, but there were opportunities there for us. We didn't sometimes execute, whether it was the final pass or the second-to-final pass, but it needed to be a little bit cleaner to really threaten the goal and to force them to come up with some plays. Obviously, they did make some plays."

The one play that hurt the Reds on the scoreboard was when Impact striker Matteo Mancosu was on the spot in the box to head home a rebound of Marco Donadel's shot to give Montreal a 1-0 lead 19 minutes in. 

"For me one of the biggest things is over the course of the game was we were just too careless with the ball," Vanney said. "We lost balls in our midfield or between our lines too many times and this is a team that can really punish you in transition if you lose balls in bad spots. And there were times tonight where we were 100 percent secure with the ball, the next thing you know we lost the ball and they've got guys running at our back line and playing things behind us, and that just can't happen.

"I mean, if we're going to beat this team, you can't lose balls carelessly in between lines, you're going to pay for it. And we survived a couple of those tonight, to be fair, and we can't do that when we go back home; we're going to put ourselves in a really tough spot."

Impact coach Mauro Biello was left pondering the result after Ignacio Piatti's penalty kick soared over the goal early in the second half.

That missed opportunity would have restored Montreal's one-goal lead after Jozy Altidore scored to draw Toronto even at 1-1 in the 30th minute, while Impact defender Daniel Lovitz remained down and injured in the box, having twice appealed to the officials to stop play.

"Obviously I was disappointed and I let the fourth official know, and it's incredible," Biello said. "It's incredible how he's in the middle of the box. I would understand if he was out of the play, higher up the field and they were attacking, but he's a defender in the box that went down."

Biello was upset that the Reds did not elect to put the ball out of play after Lovitz, who spent the previous three seasons with Toronto, was injured on a collision in the box.

"Obviously they're attacking, and if you see the picture of his knee you're going to see something incredible because it was split right open like a huge gash," Biello said. "And yet that's the choice they made, and if it happens our way, we're going to know how to react too."

Toronto's Raheem Edwards, who assisted on Altidore's goal, was satisfied that the Reds scored an away goal heading into the return leg at home on Tuesday (7:30 pm ET | TSN).

"It was intense," Edwards said. "It was back and forth, both teams wanted to score. It's 1-1, that what we wanted, or a win, obviously, but we'll take it back to BMO [Field]."