Toronto FC got their Canadian Championship title defense underway in efficient fashion Wednesday night, defeating Ottawa Fury FC 2-0 at TD Place Stadium in the first leg to seize a commanding advantage in their semifinal series.
Fielding a reserve-heavy lineup arrayed in what was dubbed a 3-4-3 formation, TFC mostly kept solid if unspectacular control of the proceedings against their USL adversaries, who started brightly but faded down the stretch.
Veteran captain Drew Moor handed the visitors a priceless leg up in the first half, the center back lashing home an impressive scissors-kick finish from close range after Ottawa failed to clear a corner kick.
For most of the game it appeared that would be the only goal of the night, though the hosts saw a penalty-kick appeal waved off after Hadji Barry hit the deck in the penalty box after the break. But then Tsubasa Endoh turned the screw with a deflected finish in injury time, doubling the Reds' aggregate lead to put Fury FC in a deep hole as they contemplate a second-leg rally at BMO Field next week.
- 30' – TOR – Drew Moor
- 90+1' – TOR – Tsubasa Endoh
- THE BIG PICTURE: Ottawa out-passed and out-possessed their favored cross-Ontario counterparts, but were not quite sharp enough in either penalty box to pull off the upset. Meanwhile it was something approaching the best-case scenario for TFC, who rested regulars while still posting a clean-sheet victory away from home.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Endoh's late strike may prove the series backbreaker, but Moor's acrobatic goal deserves to go viral. Not bad for a center back, old man!
🔥 The Captain @drewmoor bangs on in to put @TorontoFC up one off the set piece!— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) August 8, 2019
🔴 OTT 0 - 1 TFC ⚪️
📺 Tune in to see if Fury bring this back on https://t.co/hishXepRT3
🍁 #CanChampxOneSoccer pic.twitter.com/657JfVbHCF
- MAN OF THE MATCH: With a finish like that and a shutout performance at the heart of a new-look defense, Drew Moor gets the nod.
- OTT: Saturday, Aug. 10 vs. Orlando City (7:30 pm ET | TSN4, MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US) | MLS
- TOR: Wednesday, Aug. 14 at Toronto FC (7:30 pm ET | onesoccer.ca in Canada) | CanChamp semifinal, Leg 2