TORONTO – The Montreal Impact’s Andrés Romero scored one of the fastest goals in MLS history and Toronto FC engineered their biggest offensive output of the season, but in the end, the Canadian teams had to settle for a share of the points.
In a physical and thrilling match in front of 21,700 at BMO Field, three TFC players – Jeremy Brockie, Steven Caldwell and Darren O’Dea – scored their first MLS goals and the Impact’s Hassoun Camara and Marco Di Vaio scored dramatic second-half goals as Toronto and Montreal played to a thrilling 3-3 draw on Wednesday evening.
The draw prevented the Reds from earning their first league victory at BMO this year on a night in which the home side had been looking for a measure of revenge in the first rematch between the two Canadian sides since the Impact delivered a 6-0 thrashing to TFC in the Amway Canadian Championship back in May.
The opening goal came only 23 seconds into the match – the fifth-fastest in league history – when Romero took advantage of a defensive error by TFC captain Darren O’Dea and hammered home a goal that immediately suggested that Toronto might have been in for another tough night against their Canadian rivals.
Five minutes later, Brockie answered back for TFC with a well-placed shot delivered in traffic in the Montreal box. The Reds then took the lead in the 21st minute when Brockie delivered a cross that central defender Steven Caldwell powerfully headed past a helpless Troy Perkins into the Montreal net.
Toronto then capped off an impressive first-half rally three minutes later when O’Dea atoned for his earlier mistake by making a forceful run into the Impact box and blasting a powerful shot into the bottom right corner.
With TFC looking fully in control through the hour mark, Montreal suddenly stormed back to even things up with two goals scored less than a minute apart.
First, Camara chased down a bouncing ball in the box after heading down a long pass in the 69th minute and left-footed it past Toronto ’keeper Joe Bendik for the defender’s second goal in as many games.
Then a minute later, Felipe found a hard-charging Di Vaio making a run to the far side of the box, and the Italian striker buried his league-leading 11th goal of the year past Bendik to silence the crowd.
Despite the draw, Montreal remain in first place in the Eastern Conference with 30 points. They next host Chivas USA on Sunday.
Toronto, meanwhile, remain in ninth in the East with 16 points. They next head to Sporting KC on July 13.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Marco Di Vaio (MTL)||The man does everything for Impact, and surged them back forward when they seemed buried.|
|2||Jeremy Brockie (TOR)||Scored a beauty of a debut goal and set up Caldwell's header in a breakout performance, making Ryan Nelsen glad he took a chance on his fellow Kiwi.|
|3||Andrés Romero (MTL)||That lightning-fast opener aside, Argentine was an active force and key in the second-half rebound.|