Montréal Impact take 1:0 lead in 2019 Canadian Championship Final

Montréal Impact defeated Toronto FC 1:0 in the opening leg of the 2019 Canadian Championship Final presented by Allstate at Stade Saputo in Montréal, QC. The Wednesday 18 September match was highlighted by Ignacio Piatti’s first-half goal from just outside the box.
 
The 2019 Canadian Championship Final continues Wednesday 25 September at BMO Field in Toronto. The match will stream LIVE on OneSoccer.ca at 19.30 ET/ 16.30 ET. Inaugurated in 2008, the Canadian Championship has featured more than 300 Canadian players and drawn more than one million cumulative spectators across the history of the competition. This year marks the first time that the Canadian Championship has featured 13 clubs from five leagues across five rounds.
 
Montréal took the lead early in the first half on a strike by Ignacio Piatti (17’) from 25 yards out.  Piatti one-touched the ball from Saphir Taider to score his fourth of the 2019 Canadian Championship after he scored one goal in Qualifying Round 3 against York9 FC and twice in the Semi-Final Round against Cavalry FC. 
 
In the 34’, Toronto’s Laurent Ciman struck a long-range free kick that dipped and challenged the Impact keeper Clement Diop who was able to adjust to make the save and push the ball away from danger. Minutes later, Erickson Gallardo’s cross was controlled by a perfect first touch from Canadian teenager Jacob Shaffelburg who forced a save from Diop over the bar to preserve the 1:0 lead.
 
Montréal had an excellent chance to double their lead in the 52’. Taider played a wonderful ball over the top of the Toronto defence to Lassi Lappalainen who chipped it over Bono, but the shot bounced just wide of the net. Toronto’s best chance of the second half came in the 66’ when Jozy Altidore was played into the Montréal penalty area by Nick DeLeon and hammered the shot on net, but once again Diop made the save to keep the clean sheet.
 
Toronto pushed for the away goal in the later stages with Altidore getting a free header off that ended up straight into the arms of Diop.
 
Montréal Impact’s starting XI was goalkeeper Clement Diop. Jukka Raitala, Victor Cabrera, Bacary Sagna, and Canadian Zachary Brault-Guillard on defence; Canadians Samuel Piette and Shamit Shome, Ignacio Piatti, Saphir Taider, Lassi Lappalainen and Bojan Krcik through midfield and attack.
 
Coach Wilmer Cabrera replaced Krcik (45’ +1) with Maxi Urruti. Lappalainen with Orji Okwonkwo (77’) and Urruti with Clement Bayiha (90’ +3).
 
Toronto FC’s starting XI was goalkeeper Alex Bono; defenders Drew Moor, Justin Morrow, Laurent Ciman, and Canadian Richie Laryea; Canadian Jonathan Osorio, Nick DeLeon, and captain Michael Bradley in midfield; and Patrick Mullins, Erickson Gallardo, and Canadian Jacob Shaffelburg on attack.
 
Coach Greg Vanney replaced Mullins and Gallardo with Alejandro Pozuelo and Jozy Altidore (46’) and Shaffelburg with Marky Delgado (74’).

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