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Four Club and Country: Toronto FC Stun the Montreal Impact in Voyageurs Cup

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No DPs? No Problem. Toronto FC's Canadians handle the Montreal Impact in an unexpected victory at BMO Field.

Luke Galati

Toronto FC doesn't play the role of David very often. It comes with the territory when you are the most expensive team in Major League Soccer and have the best player that the league has ever seen at your disposal. That makes you a perma-goliath.

Tonight, however, Toronto FC was undoubtedly the underdog in the first leg of their Voyageurs Cup semi-final against the Montreal Impact. Toronto, the home side, were forced to play a side with very few starters due to a collection of injuries, international callups and other circumstances. Montreal came into town with what was essentially a full strength roster.

Based on how the game played out it didn't look like it, it took the Impact 85 minutes to wake up, and by that point they were already down 4-0. They gave themselves life heading back to Saputo Stadium next week, as the game ended 4-2, but most of the damage was already done.

"We showed a lot of confidence, a lot of fight and a lot of grit," Ashtone Morgan said of Toronto FC's performance after the match. "You could tell that all of the guys on the pitch today were hungry. We wanted to get ourselves in the best position for the next leg and I think we got the job done."

Toronto FC's long-dormant offence, they have scored just once in the past three games, got an early start just 13 minutes into the match. The club has been begging for secondary scoring all year, and found it in Jonathan Osorio. The Canadian had a pair of goals, both the product of good positioning and calm finishing.

Osorio has struggled in front of goal at times in his career, but was full value for Toronto FC tonight when they really needed him. It is no coincidence that the performance came when he was playing his preferred role as a central attacking midfielder.

"It's good to get back on the scoresheet, it has been a while, so I'm just glad to help my team in that way," said Osorio.

While he has been waiting to get on the scoresheet, fellow Canadian Jordan Hamilton has struggled for years to get on the teamsheet. Tonight was his first senior start for Toronto FC, and he did not let the opportunity go to waste.

Hamilton scored a pair of goals, both of which proved to be vital as an advantage for Toronto going into Montreal next week. Both goals reaffirmed what has been said about Hamilton for a long time: his ability to find the back of the net will translate regardless of the level.

But it wasn't just his goalscoring that earned glowing praise from coach Greg Vanney after the match, it was his hustle as well. For 90 minutes, Hamilton worked incredibly hard to impress, and he did just that likely opening up more opportunities for himself down the road.

"My job is to score goals," said Hamilton post-match, "that's been a moment I've been dreaming about for three years now and I luckily got to do it twice in one night. It was just a surreal moment for me and I just did my job and put the ball in the back of the net tonight."

In fact, it was a good performance from all of Toronto FC's Canadian players tonight. Ashtone Morgan dominated the left flank, and set up the club's opening goal. Mo Babouli played a big part in the second and third goals and combined very well with Hamilton all night. Youngster Malik Johnson saw his first minutes with the senior team late in the match.

The only downside to the match for Toronto, the cloud in an otherwise blue sky, was the last five minutes of the match. Didier Drogba, who had been silent all match long, broke Toronto FC open with a brilliant setup before scoring one himself on a free kick. This makes Toronto's task more difficult next Wednesday.

"Yes and no," Vanney said of whether or not the last 5 minutes dampens an otherwise positive night for his club. "Yes in that we were sitting 4-0 and you want to close that out and go to the next [leg] up 4-0 is ideally the right situation. No because at the beginning of the game if we would have said can we go to Montreal with a two goal lead would we take that we would have said 'yes,absolutely'."

Toronto FC needs to be cautious, however. The last time they went to Montreal up two goals on aggregate was in the 2013 tournament. They were smashed 6-0 in that away leg, the worst loss in club history. Something that extreme, however, is unlikely to happen again.

For tonight though, it is worth reveling in David's surprising slaying of Goliath, and the dominant way in which it was done. Most weren't expecting to come out of tonight with positives, instead there are many.