Leading up to the match, all eyes were on the players who were returning to play following league-wide protests against racial inequality and shooting of Jacob Blake by police. TFC and Montreal both came out sporting Black Lives Matter t-shirts, while both teams took a knee before kickoff.
When the game got underway, it didn’t get off to the best start for The Reds, as striker Patrick Mullins, who was handed a rare start by Greg Vanney, was forced to come off with an injury. The team was already without Jozy Altidore (undisclosed) and Ayo Akinola (hamstring), so losing his sole striker in Mullins was a big blow for Vanney’s gameplan.
With Pozuelo shifting into a false-nine role, Mullins’ replacement, Nick DeLeon, thought he gave Toronto FC the lead after heading the ball into the net in the 36th minute, but referee Dave Gantar checked the VAR. The goal was called back because he was slightly offside, and the score remained 0-0 going into halftime.
Immediately after the break, however, TFC would finally find their breakthrough. After a penalty was called against Montreal Impact midfielder Emanuel Maciel for a handball, Alejandro Pozuelo stepped up and did what he does best: score.
Pozuelo stepped up and confidently buried the ball in the bottom right corner to give Toronto FC the lead.
Romell Quioto thought he equalized for the Impact with a tidy finish in the 78th minute, but like DeLeon earlier in the match, was adjudged to be a hair offside by the assistant referee. It was definitely a close call, but it didn’t count, and the score remained 1-0.
The Reds would hold down the fort, and see out a 1-0 victory to remain perfect in their return to action. They’ve now won all three matches, and haven’t conceded a goal yet, keeping them in pole position to qualify for the 2020 Canadian Championship final.
They will play the Impact again in their next game, on Tuesday, September 1 at BMO Field.
Kickoff for that match is at 8 p.m. EST.
Full Match Highlights