The Montreal Impact grabbed a 1-0 road victory Tuesday night at Toronto FC, knocking off the Eastern Conference leaders and denying TFC's chance at tying the all-time MLS record for consecutive regular-season matches without a defeat (19).
A first-half header from Montreal center back Rudy Camacho was the difference, as the Frenchman nodded home deep service from Romell Quioto after a short corner kick. Camacho ghosted to the back post unmarked, giving Montreal a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.
Toronto appeared to have an equalizer in first-half stoppage time, after Alejandro Pozuelo and Pablo Piatti orchestrated a clever penalty-kick attempt. The Spaniard rolled the ball forward rather than shooting, and Piatti ran in before lacing the ball past Impact goalkeeper Clement Diop.
Head referee Drew Fischer quickly waved off the goal, though, because Piatti entered the penalty arc before Pozuelo tapped his pass forward. Per the IFAB Laws of the Game, when there's encroachment by an attacking player and the ball has not already entered the goal, then an indirect free kick is awarded to the defending team.
The whole sequence arose when Toronto striker Jozy Altidore was fouled by Camacho inside the 18-yard box, resulting in a PK. Altidore also had a PK shout in the 27th minute, but Fischer judged that contact from center back Luis Binks wasn’t enough to point to the spot.
As Toronto pushed for a late goal, Montreal midfielder Emanuel Maciel was at first shown a straight red card in the 95th minute for a studs-up challenge on Toronto captain Michael Bradley. But after Video Review, the Argentine's foul was changed to a yellow card, allowing the Impact to finish with 11 men.
- 14' – MTL – Rudy Camacho | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Toronto had a chance at history: With a draw or win they would have tied an MLS record for consecutive regular-season games unbeaten (19). That mark was previously set by Columbus Crew SC across 2004-'05 and FC Dallas in 2010, though now they’re back to square one. But don’t lose sight of Montreal’s 90-minute effort, which was one of Thierry Henry’s best results as an MLS head coach. This one counts in the Canadian Championship push, too, so there are some measurable benefits beyond three points.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Toronto’s PK mishap made the rounds on social media Tuesday night. It was a head-scratcher, and one has to wonder why Alejandro Pozuelo didn’t just shoot it. Watch for yourself:
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Rudy Camacho gets the nod for his first-half goal and all-around solid defensive play. Toronto’s man-marking was entirely absent on the 14th-minute header, though.