Yesterday, Toronto FC II looked like a team out for revenge. However not revenge on FC Montreal, but revenge after losing last week's season opener to the Charleston Battery in the 90th minute. TFC II forgot about that result and started the game off with a bang, putting pressure on the FC Montreal defense, hoping to cause some sort of mishap.
For the first 10 minutes, TFC II was passing the ball around and getting chances at goal. The FC Montreal centre back pairing of Chakib Hocaine and Mitchel Bringoff had their ability put to the test early on, but after a corner kick in the 10th minute for FC Montreal, that's when it went from being all TFC to Montreal. At that moment, FC Montreal looked more comfortable as a team and began to throw long balls over the TFC II defence in hopes to break the deadlock.
It was not until the 37th minute where a nicely delivered free kick pass by Captain Mo Babouli that landed right in front of keeper Yann-Alexandre Fillion and was tapped in by newly signed Marcos Nunes to give the young Reds the lead. Mo Babouli wasn't done with his free kick abilities almost giving his side a 2-0 lead going into the half, but he smashed a ball from just outside the box that rang the cross bar and gave FC Montreal fans a little scare.
The game went back and forth, as Montreal was desperately trying to tie the game, but poor finishing and some tighter defence didn't allow FC Montreal a goal. TFC II stayed back, marked Montreal striker Victor N'Diane tight and was trying hard to dump the ball out of harms way and hopefully a play would ensue. That is how Raheem Edwards broke loose and used his pace down the wings to take a shot on goal, only to have it put in by Montreal defender John Dinkota.
This game was an improvement for TFC II as you can see that playing just one USL game over their opponent allowed them to use the mistakes they made last game and learn from them. Keeper Alex Bono looked more confident and fixed his timing issues. The back line also appeared more comfortable and was able to head the ball out or hand it over to the midfield that seemed to be run by Luca Uccello. Mark-Anthony Kaye linked up well with Babouli and even had his own chances to add the the scoreboard. Nunes was all over the place, giving his team options out wide and causing the Montreal defence to open up.
Man of the Match: Mo Babouli
Babouli is an obvious choice to earn praise for his stellar performance. Not having Jordan Hamilton up front allowed him to be more free, which he likes to do and plays his best. He showed his leadership as well, talking to his teammates and giving them pep talks after goals. His free kicks were solid and even was able to break free sometime. He could've had his second in as many games, but he missed an opportunity off a goalie blunder which was headed out of danger. Just like last week where he had
TFC II will play their next game on the road in New York, as they take on another new USL side, the New York Red Bulls II. The Red Bulls II played their first game yesterday and tied the Rochester Rhinos 0-0. The game can be seen on Youtube live.