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FT: Toronto FC 2-1 Montreal Impact—Match Thread, Starting XI, How to Watch

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The most important game of the season. Toronto FC head to Montreal with one goal: walking away with three points. Follow along with Michael Singh, ask questions, and chime in our live match thread.

SOCCER: SEP 09 MLS - Toronto FC at Montreal Impact Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Live Match Thread

FT: Toronto FC 2 - 1 Montreal Impact — What a moment from Jozy Altidore as TFC walk away with three crucial points.

90+4—Late in the game, TFC defending... well? This is weird. But that Jozy goal, though! Still catching my breath.

89’—GOAL! TORONTO FC 2 - 1 Montreal Impact — WHO ELSE!? JOZY ALTIDORE!!!!!! GETS IN BEHIND AND FINISHES! QUIETS THE MONTREAL IMPACT FANS IN ATTENDANCE! ICONIC!

81’—CHANCE! I don’t know what to say Jozy...

80’—Ayo Akinola comes into the match for Pablo Piatti. Will he be the difference?

77’—It’s the 77th minute, TFC need a goal, and no sign of Ayo Akinola—yet.

72’—Chance for Pozuelo who connects on a cutback first time but puts it over the bar. TFC need one here.

68’—Richie Laryea is subbed of by Greg Vanney for Nick DeLeon. Richie has been the best player on the pitch tonight, but he’s coming off a high ankle sprain and a few games off.

65’—Is that not a stomp by Taider? Not the best challenge from Oso, but didn’t he react? That’s why Mavinga was so upset.

62’—Another big save by Q off Qiuoto.

61’—Richie looking like Phonzie tonight.

58’—CHANCE! Richie Laryea gets in behind, but his shot is deflected back into Diop. He may have had Altidore on the far post, but I like the Canadian’s directness and willingness to get in behind.

55’—GOAL! Montreal 1 - 1 Toronto FC — IMO, Binks was offside on the original FK ... but it’s taking the ref a while. And he has awarded a goal to Montreal. More question marks to be asked about the Reds defence off set pieces...

54’—GOAL? Controversy as Wanyama gets in at the back post off a FK and heads home. The ball was headed onto the former Tottenham midfielder, but he appears to have been flagged for offside! The referee is having a look now....

50’—Richie Laryea creating again on the left wing. Great bit of build-up play by Altidore, but he can’t find the finish. Positive start to the second half for the Reds.

46’—We’re back! Raptors going to OT. Catching my breath. It’s not getting much easier with this next 45 coming up...

HT: Toronto FC 1 - 0 Montreal Impact — Big half from the Reds. Now go watch the last 4 minutes of the Raptors game to alleviate what’s going to inevitably be a stressful second half.

39’—Big save from Q! He shuffles to his right to stay with Qiuoto and kicks away the Impact striker’s effort. Defence first, but a few more goals won’t hurt.

35’—Montreal almost gets one back! Qiuoto gets in behind, finishes past Q, but he’s flagged offside. Lock. It. Down.

34’—GOAL! Toronto FC 1 - 0 Montreal Impact — Pablo Piatti gets on the end of an incredible Richie Laryea run and makes it 1-0! What a run from the Canadian, who absolutely burns everyone down the left-hand side before finding Piatti for the open net.

32’—Jozy with a header in the box! It wasn’t clean, but that’s a positive sign. They need to connect with him more, he’s too much of a lethal option.

30’—Chris Mavinga has made a few crucial trackbacks to disrupt Montreal counterattacks. I guessed 4-2 in the Prediction League for today’s final scoreline ... I think I’m going to be wrong as both teams still search for the match’s first goal.

18’—Great low strike from Marky Delgado at the top of the box is deflected away by Diop. Ayo Akinola, who is on the bench tonight, spoke prior to the match stating that the team’s intent is to get away more shots on goal this evening.

15’—From the one-and-only Jeffrey P. Nesker: “We are so lucky x2.” Montreal with a sgood run of play here.. come on TFC.

10’—CHANCE! TFC get away with one there. Taider is alone at the back post after some great build-up play from Montreal, but the Impact attacker puts his header wide. Wow.

7’—Pablo Piatti cuts in with his left foot and delivers a sweet long-range strike that is comfortably stopped by Diop. Not a bad effort. That’s starting to become trademark for the Argentine.

1’—TFC rocking the Unity Kits tonight as players take a knee before kickoff in protest against social injustice. We’re off. The biggest match of the season.

8:06 p.m. EST—Come. On. You. Reds.

8:00 p.m. EST—BangwagonFan15 says “We really need Jozy to run at their backline today, hopefully that can create some more space for Poz in the middle and also for some runs in from the wings.” Do we agree?

7:57 p.m. EST—All the rest. All the load management. All the money only pays off if Jozy Altidore scores in these big matches. He’s done it before, but the stage is set, Jozy.

7:45 p.m. EST—TFC going with a 4-4-1-1 formation tonight... that’s interesting. Looks like Vanney felt the need to change things up. Getting into a tactical battle with Thierry Henry? I’m all for it.

7:40 p.m. EST—Expecting something special out of this guy tonight...

7:33 p.m. EST—Be sure to get your guesses for tonight’s final score in our prediction league before the start of kickoff! You know how these Montreal-Toronto games work, it’s going to get chaotic.

7:23 p.m. EST—Are the Raptors going to pull this Game 6 off and force Game 7!? There was a user on here last week that said no two MLSE teams can win on the same day. Let’s hope tonight’s the night that the Reds and the Raps prove ‘em wrong.

7:18 p.m. EST—Jozy starts. Is tonight the night that he gets off the mark? He is, by definition, the most efficient scorer in Toronto FC history, but it sure hasn’t looked that way so far in 2020. With the pressure on to score, maybe this evening’s derby will be stage that the star striker shines on?

7:10 p.m. EST—MATCH DAY!


Starting XI

Toronto FC’s Starting XI vs. Montreal this evening:

And here’s how the bad guys will line up tonight:


Match Preview (Courtesy Aasim Hashim)

TORONTO, Ont.—Toronto FC will head east on the 401 to their final Canadian Championship qualifying match and look to keep their 2020 Canadian Championship Final hopes alive against the Montreal Impact at the Stade Saputo. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m EST on Wednesday.

It was only a week ago that the Reds were in pole position to advance to the Canadian Championship Final. A three-game win streak which included three clean sheets and some dominant performances had TFC ahead of Montreal and Vancouver, with the remaining games looking like a formality.

Now, after two straight losses, it’s the Impact who are in the driver’s seat and control their own destiny. Toronto will need to take all three points on Wednesday night to put pressure on the Impact and give themselves a chance at playing in this year’s final. Even with a win, however, the Reds will need Montreal to drop points in their final two games against Vancouver in order to secure their spot in the 2020 Canadian Championship Final. If they don’t, Montreal can finish top of the group based off of goal differential.

Against Vancouver on Saturday, Greg Vanney decided to make changes to his Starting XI. Michael Bradley was unavailable due to injury (week to week) and Chris Mavinga and Jozy Altidore were left on the bench to manage minutes. Just like at the MLS is Back Tournament, Saturday once again proved that outside of the Omar Gonzalez and Chris Mavinga pairing, the Reds have very little depth in the heart of defence. The lack of reliable options at centre-back is going to force Vanney to all but surely play his regular pairing of Gonzalez and Mavinga Wednesday night.

Liam Fraser, who was the beneficiary of the Bradley injury had a decent outing and was only sacrificed as the Reds searched for a second goal and brought on a second striker in Jozy Altidore. Whether Fraser will be part of Wednesday’s crucial match will be interesting to see. With Bradley injured to start the season, Vanney opted for a Jonathan Osorio and Marky Delgado midfield duo and it won’t be a surprise if the Toronto boss elects to do so once again, against Montreal.

The Reds’ problem in the last two games hasn’t been creating offence. Toronto has been able to keep possession and play their fluid brand of attacking football. However, finishing on the chances they’ve created has caused headaches. In their 1-0 loss against Montreal last week, the Reds offence was able to play effectively around the Impact defence but were not able to find the final ball and ultimately the back of the net. Similarly against the Whitecaps, the Reds created their fair share of chances, found the back of the net twice but it was their defence that let them down on Saturday night. On Wednesday, Toronto will need their offence and defence to be clicking to make sure there are no more lapses.

TFC may have been in the driver’s seat for the first half of the Canadian Championship qualifying phase, but now, it’s up to seven-time Canadian Champions to put some pressure on their 401 rivals and give themselves a chance to represent the MLS in this year’s Canadian Championship Final.

Additional Notes:

  • Saturday was the first time TFC has lost two games in a row since May 2019. The last time the Reds dropped consecutive games was to Real Salt Lake and San Jose Earthquakes ( 3-0 and 2-1, respectively).

Alejandro Pozuelo’s goal and assist on Saturday night puts him second on the team in goals (tied with Richie Laryea) and first in MLS in assists.


HOW TO WATCH

Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday night, and those in Canada can watch on TSN 4/5.