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Game Thread: Toronto FC 2-1 Montreal Impact (FT)

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Another August, another 401 Derby

MLS: Toronto FC at Montreal Impact Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

FT — It’s over! Some weird scenes in stoppage time as Baldomero Toledo went to VAR to see if TFC deserved a penalty kick, but nothing happened. Anyway, that’s a huge win for TFC.

As always, screw the Impact.

81’ Toronto FC 2-1 Montreal Impact — THE SKIPPER! Michael Bradley wills a ball into the net as he makes a great little give-and-go with Justin Morrow then bundles it over the line. The Reds take the lead!

75’ — TFC are very much on the front foot right now. They’ve had a couple heart-stopping moments inside the Montreal six-yard box, but no dice yet.

64’ Toronto FC 1-1 Montreal — MARCUS DELGADO! Pozuelo sends a cross toward the box looking for Jozy Altidore, and it’s pushed out to the top of the box. Delgado threads it straight through Bacary Sagna’s legs from distance into the net and we’re tied.

49’ Toronto FC 0-1 Montreal — Welp. Bojan opens the scoring with a nasty shot from outside the box that curls between two players and into the net. He might be good.

46’ — Pozuelo is indeed going to come into the game. He replaces Nick DeLeon.

45’ — Halftime in the most boring 401 Derby is recent memory. This game needs Alejandro Pozuelo badly.

26’ — There’s the Mavinga we know and love. He slides in with one of his unbelievably brave tackles and stops Lappalainen cleanly in the box.

Also there’s this.

18’ — Benezet and Gallardo have been sick today.

8’ — A lot of things just happened. Like three Montreal players, including the keeper, just chopped down TFC attackers who had a very dangerous attack building. Yellow card to Sagna, and Greg Vanney is absolutely PISSED. Positive start for the Reds.

1’ — Well here we go. The Reds kick off toward the south, so it looks like the Cheesemakers won the coin toss.

LINEUPS:

Toronto FC — No Pozuelo or Osorio, both of which could come off the bench, but otherwise a strong lineup. Benezet and Gallardo both get the start!

Montreal Impact — It’s okay though because Montreal’s lineup sucks more (Sagna at CB??)

It’s the moooost wonderful tiiiiime of the year.....

Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact under the lights at the CNE. It’s always great when the stars align for this to happen (or rather, MLS allows it to happen).

The Impact arrive at BMO Field tonight currently in a dead-heat with TFC (and Orlando City) for the seventh and final playoff spot in the East, each with 34 points. The Chicago Fire sit just one point behind in 10th, while the New England Revolution are at 35 points in sixth place.

It’s tight.

So, this is essentially a must-win game for TFC, who managed to salvage a disappointing draw last weekend in Columbus. There are eight games left in the MLS season, and every single point could be crucial.

Fortunately, beating up on Montreal is what we do best here in Toronto. The Reds convincingly shut out the Impact at Stade Saputo last month. In 2018, on this very same weekend, TFC won 3-1 at home, although they lost both away games against Montreal that season.

The Reds also have a crucial two-legged tie to play with Montreal in September for the Voyageurs Cup, of course.

The good news? Montreal has one win in their last eight games, although they drew 3-3 with FC Dallas last week (blowing a three-goal lead in the process, of course).

The Impact may have a little more in the tank this time around than they have in a while, though; just this week, they fired Remi Garde as manager and replaced him with a seasoned MLS coaching veteran in Wilmer Cabrera. It’s possible this change, coupled with a huge rivalry match, could light a fire under Montreal that they haven’t had in a while.

You don’t need us to tell you much more about the Impact. Piatti is good, but he’s injured, so who knows. Saphir Taider has a decent scoring touch this season, and Bacary Sagna is dangerous up the right flank.

There’s also recent signing Bojan, who should participate in his first 401 Derby this evening, but we don’t quite know how the former Barcelona forward will fit in Montreal, with just one start under his belt.

Let’s get these guys.

Team news: injuries & suspensions:

Toronto FC: No injuries have been reported, but there are sure to be a few players not quite fit to play. Here’s hoping TFC’s TAM wingers are able to get out there, though.

Montreal Impact: Unclear who’s actually injured. It appears, though, that both Nacho Piatti and Sam Piette may miss out for this one.

How to watch

Match date/time: Saturday, August 24, 7:30 p.m.
TV channel: TSN 4, TVA Sports
Live stream: TSN GO
Radio: TSN 1050 (Toronto), TSN 690 (Montreal)