Ignacio Piatti hit the target with a sensational 25-yard strike early, and the Montreal Impact prevented Toronto FC from scoring a crucial away goal in a 1-0 victory in the first leg of the Canadian Championship final on Wednesday night at Stade Saputo.
The goal, Piatti's competition-leading fourth in the tournament, would allow the Impact to wrestle away the Voyaguers Cup from Toronto even with a one-goal defeat in Leg 2, provided Montreal score a goal. A draw or victory would also see the Impact through.
Toronto can still take home their fourth-consecutive title in the competition with a victory by multiple goals at BMO Field, where they've never lost to Montreal in Canadian Championship play.
The loss ended The Reds' unbeaten run at nine matches in all competitions, one that began in the CanChamp semifinals.
- 17' - MTL - Ignacio Piatti | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It wasn't all good news for the Impact, who may have felt unlucky not to have a bigger lead at the midway point of this final against a TFC that saw nine changes from the weekend. Newly acquired striker Bojan left the match late in the first half with a leg injury, and Saphir Taider picked up a yellow card that will see him suspended for the return leg.
Our @Louis_Butko is standing by with Jukka Raitala following @impactmontreal's 1 - 0 victory over @TorontoFC in the First Leg of the #CanChamp Finals— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) September 19, 2019
🔵 MTL 1 - 0 TFC ⚪️#CanChampxOneSoccer | #MTLvTOR | #CanChamp pic.twitter.com/Y9rki7hiVT
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Montreal's 34-year-old talisman is still among the most dangerous attackers in MLS with even a little time and space, and he proved it in the 17th minute Wednesday.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Ignacio Piatti. It's been a challenging 2019 season for the Argentine, with injuries limiting the 34-year-old Argentine to nine league appearances and just three goals. But he's been the MVP of the CanChamp so far. And in a cagey affiar like this, sometimes an individual moment like he created is enough to carry the day.