MONTREAL – All eyes were on new Impact DP Marco Di Vaio on Wednesday night, but Toronto FC ended up stealing the show with a dominant 3-0 win at Stade Saputo.
Torsten Frings scored the first at the 52nd minute, a powerful free kick blasted in from 22 yards. Ryan Johnson added the insurance marker in the 72nd, while Danny Koevermans added insult to injury at the 78th.
The first waves of pressure came Donovan Ricketts’ way, the Jamaican international goalkeeper having to concede two TFC corners early on. The Impact quickly picked up the pace, though, and were ever-present in Toronto's half through the game’s opening minutes.
HIGHLIGHTS: MTL vs TOR
Di Vaio’s first touch in the attacking third was a lateral pass to Davy Arnaud, who set up Zarek Valentin. Seconds later, the Impact DP was released on the left. He crossed for Arnaud, who was making a trademark run into the box at the back post. The captain headed the ball right into Milos Kocic’s hands, however.
TFC put their foot back on the pedal again towards the 15th minute and forced several headed clearances from Montreal's center backs, but each side of that spell of possession, the Impact – most notably through Lamar Neagle and Felipe – created numerous chances.
Montreal's momentum was cut short in the 25th minute, however, when Hassoun Camara’s bicycle kick attempt in the box violently caught Toronto’s Jeremy Hall in the face. Camara was probably lucky to only see yellow on the play, while Hall, on a most unlucky of nights, received a Neagle cross straight in the face eight minutes before being substituted at the break.
The first minutes of the second half were again all Toronto’s. The Impact could barely get a foot on the ball, and Koevermans' narrow miss on Ricketts’ right in the 48th minute was a sign of things to come. Frings’ thunderous free kick, which passed right through the hands of Ricketts, came four minutes later.
Defending the lead was not a problem for TFC, who’d squandered two-goal leads twice last week in coming away with a pair of draws. This time around they just kept adding to it, and kept the Impact under pressure throughout.
The second goal came after a giveaway near the Impact’s box, as Nick Soolsma caught Neagle napping on the ball. The Dutchman fed Johnson, whose left-footed strike curled its way through a scrum of Impact defenders and into the back of the net.
Toronto’s third, a Koevermans finish from close range on an Ashtone Morgan low cross – the left back's third assist in two games – put the icing on the cake.
Both teams’ next outing is coming this Saturday. Toronto (2-10-2, 8 points) will entertain the New York Red Bulls at BMO Field while Montreal (5-9-3, 18 points) will face D.C. United at RFK Stadium.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Torsten Frings||The German DP has been reborn under Paul Mariner, providing the kind of leadership, quality and experience he was brought to TFC for in the first place.|
|2||Ryan Johnson||Playing with a confidence both on and off the ball that's been largely missing since about 2009. Finally matching production to potential.|
|3||Richard Eckersley||In the first half he was a rock in the center of defense, fighting hard in the air and immovable on the ground. Was equally feisty in the 2nd at right back.|