MONTREAL – Toronto FC didn’t skip a beat without injured DP forward Jermain Defoe in Saturday’s 401 Derby match at Montreal, getting a goal apiece from strike duo Gilberto and Luke Moore to top the Impact 2-0 at Stade Saputo.
Designated Player Michael Bradley played a leading role for TFC in his first 401 Derby, helping to orchestrate both of Toronto’s goals.
Saturday’s win against their archrivals lifts TFC (8-7-5, 29 pts.) to third place in the Eastern Conference, though the New England Revolution could push them back to fourth with a win against New York Red Bulls later on Saturday night. Montreal (3-13-5, 14 pts.) remain last in the East, five points behind ninth-place Houston Dynamo.
Dominant early and throughout, Toronto opened the scoring in the 11th minute. On the ball in front of the Montreal box, Bradley picked out Dominic Oduro on the right. On his first touch, Oduro cut the ball back to Gilberto, who blasted his 10-yard effort on frame with his first touch. The shot hit Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins and bounced off the crossbar before landing on the turf just over the line.
Montreal had a fine long range chance through Patrice Bernier late on in the half, but Toronto put in a thoroughly efficient performance, controlling the tempo with Bradley looking every bit like the midfield maestro he is.
A moment of Bradley brilliance paved the way for TFC's second in the 54th minute. With a magnificent long service, Bradley found Oduro sprinting behind Montreal defender Krzysztof Krol on the right. Oduro’s carried the ball into the box, bouncing a cross off of Krol and into the path of the onrushing Moore, who tapped in from close range.
A rare moment of encouragement for Montreal was the 65th minute introduction of Homegrown forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel, making his professional debut after signing with the first team on Friday. A couple of crosses troubled TFC shortly after he came on, but the Reds were largely tranquil and even hit the post on a corner kick in the 82nd minute.
The Impact will return to action on Tuesday when they’ll kick off their CONCACAF Champions League run by hosting El Salvador’s FAS at Stade Saputo. In league play, both teams are on the road next Saturday, Aug. 9, with Montreal traveling to Philadelphia and TFC taking on the Crew in a Trillium Cup match in Columbus.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Gilberto||A strong effort from the Brazilian DP. Took his goal very well and caused problems for Montreal throughout.|
|2||Michael Bradley||Ran the show for the Reds in the midfield, assisting on the opener and releasing Dom Oduro with a perfect long ball for TFC’s second.|
|3||Collen Warner||Paired Bradley wonderfully in the center of the park, hardly putting a foot wrong in possession.|