TORONTO – It was Designated Player delight for Toronto FC as Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco all found the back of the net over bitter rivals Montreal Impact in a 3-1 victory at BMO Field on Wednesday night.
Inspired by their DP trio, Toronto FC dominated the match, controlling the flow and pressure throughout the 90 minutes to kick off MLS Rivalry Week in style.
But despite Toronto’s attacking prowess, it was Montreal who struck first., Ambroise Oyongo finished off a blistering counter after Ignacio Piatti made Justin Morrow look silly on the left and sent a cross into the box, which fell to the foot of Oyongo. The Cameroonian struck a rocket of a left-footed volley, beating Chris Konopka and opening the scoring for the Impact in the 19th minute. It was the 24-year-old defender's first goal in MLS.
Toronto FC responded with big spells of possession and pressed to the top of Montreal’s box. It didn’t take long for the home side to find an equalizer courtesy of the foot of Giovinco. The Atomic Ant picked up a Damien Perquis pass at pace, turned Laurent Ciman, and slipped in a quick low cross to an onrushing Bradley. The TFC captain struck the ball first time, beating Evan Bush and restoring the deadlock near the half-hour mark.
With that assist, Giovinco became Toronto FC’s all-time single season assist leader with seven.
Level at the half, Toronto FC continued to press offensively at the start of the second 45 minutes, and Bradley was once again instrumental in the fruits of those labours. This time, Bradley picked up the ball in midfield and strung an inch-perfect pass to Altidore whose smart run saw him burst past Oyongo and Bakary Soumare with the ball in front of him. Altidore let the ball bounce twice before lashing it past Bush on his far side, giving Toronto FC a 2-1 lead in the 56th minute.
It was Altidore’s sixth goal of the season, bringing him one behind Giovinco, who nearly added to his goal tally minutes later. The former Juventus man received a pass and had open space in front of him, but hit the post with his shot. Luckily for Toronto, it wasn't the last of his chances. Giovinco would have another chance in the 81st minute after drawing a penalty. The versatile attacker took to the spot and coolly slotted home the goal, giving Toronto a 3-1 lead and all three points.
With the win, Toronto FC now goes 4-2-3 all time against the Montreal Impact in MLS play and remain undefeated at BMO Field in the 401 Derby. Toronto FC next host D.C. United on June 27 while the Montreal Impact travel to PPL Park that same day to take on the Philadelphia Union.