TORONTO – Sometimes the goals you prevent bring better results that the goals that you score.
Just ask Toronto FC forward Reggie Lambe.
Lambe scored two goals in a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Fire on April 21, but perhaps neither was as important as the play he made Wednesday night in the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship semifinals.
The Bermudian headed a ball off the line in the 27th minute to preserve a 0-0 score line against the Montreal Impact that held to the final whistle and ending the club’s six-game losing streak across all competitions.
Lambe’s clearance came when Shavar Thomas put a header on goal after a Montreal corner kick.
“I just tried to make sure I stayed on the post until the last minute,” Lambe told reporters after the game at Olympic Stadium. “I saw he had a free header, so I just stayed on my post and I cleared it away, made sure I did that.”
The second leg of the semifinal is May 9 at BMO Field.
Avoiding a loss was a confidence-builder for Toronto, and so was their first clean sheet in 12 competitive games this season, especially on the unfamiliar artificial turf at Olympic Stadium.
“I think the surface that we played on caused us to stay back a bit,” Lambe said. “We’re not really used to playing on that type of surface. We didn’t want to do too many things to make too many mistakes. We just sat back and absorbed the pressure. We had a few chances ourselves but unfortunately, we couldn’t put any away.”