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TFC Lose to FC Montreal in USL 401 Derby

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TFC II was unable to win the 401 Derby versus rivals FC Montreal, as the clubs split the season series at a win apiece for now.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

TFC II has yet to score a goal in four games now and are still looking for their first point at their new stadium. Tuesday night, TFC II took on bitter rivals FC Montreal, and right away the tempo of the game was strong. Fast paced plays, quick set pieces, and long balls to attackers were what TFC II tried to do in order to find that first goal at home. Montreal on the other hand, was able to halt those attacks and push it up to their more attacking players.

"We had a decent start to the match, energy was good," said Toronto coach Jason Bent. "But it's like I said, if you don't score when you're up on top, the opposition is always going to have a chance."

Montreal played a very offensive game and favoured the counter attack approach. Every time TFC II pushed up, they seemed to have at least one man up in the efforts a ball was kicked out of danger. For the first 10 minutes, the match lived up to it's hype and provided a lot of nice passes and good efforts on goal. The young Reds seemed to be the stronger team early on. However that changed quickly as Montreal seemed to figure out their opponents approach and were able to make passes to players like Zakari Messoudi and Alessandro Riggi.

Riggi and Messoudi linked up well together, which did cause the TFC II defence some troubles. After pushing up more, Montreal was able to have more chances on goal and allowed to find space to move the ball efficiently. The first half saw TFC II have six shots on goal, while Montreal registered five.

The second half began, and it was all Montreal again. Defenders Daniel Fabrizi and Emeka Ononye were having to deal with a lot of attempts on target, and at times were bailed out by keeper Quillan Roberts. The defenders were able to hold off any Montreal attack with strong plays and being able to out muscle their opponents to the ball.

That changed however in the 54th minute, when Montreal's Messoudi intercepted a pass in the middle and was able to cut through two TFC II defenders and have a go from just outside the box and put it over a sprawling Roberts.

That goal seemed to damper any TFC II hope of winning the game. The club did have chances still, as Marcos Nunes had a very close chance six minutes later from a free kick outside the box, but it was deflected of a Montreal leg and just missed wide.

TFC II went for a more attacking approach and brought on striker Edwin Rivas in the 72nd minute for centre back Ononye. Even with the extra attacking options, TFC II was unable to get by the strong defensive play of Montreal captain and centre back Jems Geffrard and centre back Chakib-Nazim Hocine.

"They're very very sad and down," said Bent of his team's feelings after the match. "Hopefully it's hurting them inside to know that we lost to our bitter rivals. You can see what it means to opposition, but we have to grow from this."