Alejandro Pozuelo's second-half penalty kick would stand as the game-winning goal, sending a shorthanded Toronto FC to a 1-0 Canadian Classique victory over the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo on Friday.
Playing without forwards Jozy Altidore and Ayo Akinola, the Reds still managed to secure all three points thanks to Pozuelo's strike from the spot in the 50th minute and holding Montreal off the scoresheet.
Toronto were dealt an early blow when forward Patrick Mullins, who was starting with Altidore and Akinola both sidelined, had to sub off with an injury in the 19th minute.
Mullins' replacement, Nick DeLeon, thought he shot TFC out to the first-half lead in the 36th minute, heading home a cross into the box by Auro Jr. But the goal was called off for offside on video review, keeping the contest scoreless.
The Reds would get the eventual winner shortly after second-half kickoff, when Pablo Piatti made a charging run into the box and saw his cross deflect off Montreal goalkeeper Clement Diop before hitting the hand of midfielder Emanuel Maciel, drawing a penalty kick whistle from referee David Gantar. Pozuelo slotted home the look from the spot to give the visitors the lead.
Romell Quioto thought he had a leveler with a finish in the 78th minute for Montreal, but the forward was just offside receiving a through ball as he got behind the back line, and the 1-0 scoreline would stand as the final.
The teams will meet again for their next match on Sept. 1, this time at BMO Field in Toronto.
- 50' - TOR - Alejandro Pozuelo (PK) | WATCH
THE BIG PICTURE:
It's a big road result for Toronto considering how depleted they currently are up top, and they just keep rolling, as they're now on top of the Eastern Conference with a league-best 5-0-3 record. The Reds are the last undefeated team in MLS, and have now gone 18 matches since their last regular-season loss dating back to last season -- which brings them within one of the league record of 19.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH:
The handball on Maciel gave Pozuelo the chance he needed to give Toronto the decisive goal.