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FT: Toronto FC 0 - 1 Montreal Impact — Canadian Championship Finals First-Leg Game Thread

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Follow all the action and chime in as TFC and Montreal meet again in the finals of the Voyageurs Cup

Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow smiles as TFC take on heated rivals Montreal Impact (Tagwa Moyo/Waking the Red)

GAME THREAD

No things tonight as something came up. Hope to have it up in the morning for y’all. Nine-game unbeaten run over.

FT Impact 1 - 0 TFC

90+3 — Ciman needlessly goes to ground in the box to make a tackle. Almost concedes a massive penalty.

90’+2 — Wheeler getting heated as Urruti stays down injured after the challenge from Moor. Three minutes of injury time that will likely be about five after this.

90’ —Uncle Drew! Big tackle to save a potential goal.

88’ — Jozy forcing a shot from distance. Few minutes left to salvage something

84’ — Taider picks up a yellow. He’s suspended for the second leg.

81’ — Is 1-0 an unfavourable result heading to BMO?

80’ — Pozuelo finds Jozy again. His header is easily saved. Second-half possession up to 68% per Wheeler.

79’ — TFC pressing here. A goal would be massive.

73’ — Pozuelo almost finds Altidore again. Montreal counters, but they don’t have an end-product. Marky Delgado comes in for Shaff. TFC get their troops on.

70’ — Sloppy from TFC. Bono makes a save off a long-distance strike from Piette. Laryea gets away with a potential hand ball in the box.

68’ — These games are always dramatic.... lots of time left over these two ties.

66’ — Jozy loves scoring against Montreal. Good try after he rolls the defender. Big save again by Diop.

63’ — Good try by Pozuelo to find a running Altidore crashing the net. Those two need to link up here

58’ — Montreal doing well to stifle any sort of TFC momentum. Really taking the life out of this game... something tells me Ashtone Morgan’s legs could be used here?

51’ — TFC get lucky again. A bad giveaway by Moor eventually leads to an Impact breakaway. Lappalainen tries to chip Bono but just misses wide.

49’— Laryea kicked where it hurts ... yeah. Let’s leave it at that. TFC free kick.

47’ — Piatti with another shot from distance, but Bono up to the task this time around

46’ — We back. Pozuelo and Altidore in for Mullins and Gallardo. TFC mean business.

Interruption aside, I’ve been fine with OneSoccer’s coverage... how are your feeds?

HT: Toronto 0-1 Montreal .... TFC have some work to do. What changes should the Reds make?

45’ — Bojan goes off for Montreal injured.

45’ — Good recovery by Ciman/Moor to prevent a Montreal counter. I have a feeling TFC have some goals in them in the second half.

43’ — Nasty challenge by DeLeon. Lucky to escape without a yellow there.

42’ — Bojan gets in behind the TFC defence and buries past Bono, but he’s ruled offside.

40’ — Montreal looking like they’re running out of adrenaline to end the first half. Look for TFC to capitalize

37’ — What a strike from Shaff. Gallardo puts in a rather poor cross, but the 19-year-old makes the most of it. Diop with a big save. Ciman follows with another chance off the corner. TFC starting to show some life

35’ — Ciman with a surprisingly challenging shot for Diop from about 30 yards out off the FK

34’ — Smart tactical foul by Piette. Bradley might’ve been in. Yellow card.

31’ — First sign of life really shown from TFC. Starts with Michael Bradley winning the ball off Piatti after DeLeon gets toyed with.

30’ — This feels like one of those games that a Jozy/Pozuelo sub can salvage a result

26’ — Still 1-0.

20’ — S/O One Soccer. What do the Reds need to change?

18’ — GOAL... Impact. TFC 0-1 Montreal. Piatti scores. What a strike from outside the box. The goal has been coming. TFC need to change something or put two bodies on him. He’s too good today.

13’ — Montreal looking like they should be a playoff team or something

11’ — Piatti looking dangerous as usual against TFC tonight. Laryea does well to recover, but has his work cut out for him tonight... let’s see if he can force the Montreal winger to defend

10’ — Montreal clearly looking like the better side early on. Let’s hope the Reds can settle in

8’ — TFC let off the hook. Piatti left open in the box, but has a bad touch.

7’ Awkward moment as Piatti and Osorio get tangled up in the TFC box and the Montreal player goes down. No call though

5’ — Dangerous ball across the face of the box by Shaff. No one on the end of it

3’ — Foul as Piette goes through Osorio.... there’s a different tempo to this one

1’ — Kickoff. Shaffelburg is going to make an impact in this one.

7:34 p.m. — National anthem is done.... let’s do this thing

7:31 p.m. — Both sides walking out now. TFC looking clean in their white jerseys

7:28 p.m. — I know this isn’t even Toronto’s best side, but I’m still expecting a positive result

7:23 p.m. — Gallardo getting the start on the right side. Over/Under 55 minutes?

7:15 p.m. — Wonder if TFC have a couple of goals in them tonight

7:00 p.m. ET — Excited for this one. Friendly reminder the game is being shown on OneSoccer tonight.


STARTING LINEUPS

As expected, Montreal starting a strong side at home...

Toronto FC mix it up with their starting XI. Four regular starters play, while Altidore and Pozuelo make the bench. Ciman plays against his former side.


PREVIEW

Heading in opposite directions in their MLS seasons, Toronto FC and Montreal Impact will rekindle their heated rivalry tonight in the opening leg of the Canadian Championship final at the Stade Saputo in Montreal, QC.

There have been 43 games in all competitions played between these two sides, including the 2016 MLS Eastern Conference Finals and famous “Miracle in Montreal”. In their two encounters this season, Toronto has gotten the better of Montreal on both occasions (a 2-0 shutout on July 13 in Montreal and a 2-1 win on August 24 at BMO Field).

As Waking The Red's Martyn Bailey explained in his latest "By The Numbers" piece:

"There is no opponent that Toronto FC have played more often, beaten more often, or scored against with higher frequency than the Montreal Impact."

Sounds pretty good, eh?

Unbeaten in their last nine competitions, Toronto FC will look to build on that Wednesday night, as they travel to Montreal in search of crucial away goals in the two-legged tie. In the midst of a busy September, the Reds are fresh off a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rapids on Sunday after a late Jonathan Osorio winner prevented TFC from blowing a two-goal lead.

Speaking of Osorio, he loves playing in the Canadian Championship. As we learned in Martyn’s piece, with one more goal, the Brampton, Ont.-native can tie Sebastian Giovinco for the all-time club record in Voyageurs Cup goals (6).

And he’s certainly capable.

Last year, Osorio earned the George Gross Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player in the Canadian Championship, as he led TFC to their third-straight trophy. The Reds will try to make it four Voyageurs Cups in a row and second in three seasons over the Impact. They defeated Montreal (3-2 agg.) in 2017 en route to their treble winning season.

Unlike Toronto, the Impact have struggled lately. They’ve lost three out of their last four MLS matches, capped off by a surprising 1-0 home defeat to Eastern Conference bottom feeders Cincinnati FC. Expect them, led by leading-scorer Saipher Taider and 2019 signing Bojan, to come out hungry in this one.

This fixture means a lot to the local fans, as along with a crucial Concacaf Champions League spot and the beloved Voyageurs Cup, bragging rights are also up for grabs between two cities whose ties dates back further than the existence of these two franchises.

And as we’ve heard from the players this week, these match-ups mean just as much to them as it does to us.

“Every time we play Toronto, they’re always different games," Montreal midfielder Samuel Piette told The Toronto Sun's Steve Buffery. It’s our direct rival and a team we don’t like. If we can win this championship, it’ll be a positive point in our season, one we didn’t get to experience last year.”

And as someone who has experience his fair share of 401 derbys, TFC captain Michael Bradley echoed Piette’s sentiments to Buffery.

“These Toronto-Montreal games, they’re special,” said Bradley. “There’s something in the air when these two teams walk out on the field. It’s not made up, it’s not commercialized."

As has been the case with all Canadian Championship games this year, you can catch all the action on OneSoccer with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. EST.

But as always, make sure you check in with Waking the Red, as we’ll have all of your game coverage this afternoon on our Live Game Thread.


LINEUP PREDICTION

With Greg Vanney holding his cards close to his chest this week thanks to an away fixture in Los Angeles on the weekend, this week’s starting XI projection becomes difficult. However, with the depth that Toronto has — and the significance players and coaches have stressed on winning the Canadian Championship — it’s possible that a combination of their starting XI and bench players in both fixtures could be enough to earn positive results.

So with that in mind, here's our Projected Starting XI against the Montreal Impact on Wednesday.

Our predicted starting eleven
Jeffrey. P Nesker/ Waking The Red

HOW TO WATCH:

As with all the Canadian Championship games, OneSoccer will be broadcasting the game tonight. If you haven’t started a free trial for the streaming service, now would be the perfect time to here.