Canada Soccer

Toronto FC adds three more points to championship lead

Posted on 13 May 2009 in Canadian Championship

Toronto FC collected three more points in the 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship with a 1:0 victory over the Impact de Montréal tonight. Toronto FC picked up its second-straight win in its "house", this time over the very defending champions that stole last year's trophy from TFC at BMO Field.

Chad Barrett, who entered the game as a substitution in the 16th minute, scored the lone goal on a terrific shot above the box. Toronto had plenty of chances, but could only manage one goal on the evening.

"We have got to be more clinical, because otherwise some of football was the best we have played all season," said Toronto FC head coach Chris Cummins.

Toronto FC had the bulk of the chances throughout the first half. That first chance came in the 9th minute after Dwayne De Rosario chested a pass and volleyed it into the netting - albeit just on the wrong side wide of the target.

Twelve minutes later, TFC was even closer as Sam Cronin fired from the left side and hit the far post beyond goalkeeper Matt Jordan's reach. Six minutes later it was De Rosario's turn to hit the post, this time from the top of the box, but almost again on the identical mark on the post.

In spite of the Toronto FC pressure, it was in fact Montréal who hit the back of the net first, doing so in the 29th minute. Unfortunately, Joey Gjertsen was just offside before he fired his shot past goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

Six minutes later, Barrett hit the back of the net properly. Barrett made a wonderful reception and quickly volleyed it past Jordan for the opening goal of the game.

“As soon as I lifted it up, I saw that (the defender) stayed,” said Barrett. “It turned out to be a good touch, so I was like ‘I may as well hit this. It was just one of those goals that you connect well, it went right under the crossbar and the goalkeeper didn't have much to do with it.”

The Impact, as expected, came right back on the attack. Toronto defender Adrian Serioux quickly shut down the attack and put his side back on the offensive. In the 43rd minute, Toronto had another great chance as De Rosario charged down the left side, danced to the top of the box, and fed Amado Guevara for a quick shot. Jordan was stretched, but he made the diving save.

In the second half, Toronto created more chances, but the Impact pushed back, too. All that changed after the 72nd minute when Montréal's David Testo was ejected from the match.

A man and a goal down, Montréal did all that it could to push forward. The Montréal attack, however, left the back end open, providing Toronto with a couple more glorious chances.

In the 77th minute, Barrett played a pass to Guevara who fired it just wide. A couple minutes later, Barrett had another great chance, but hit his shot wide.

In the 82nd minute, Barrett could have put it away as he found himself alone on an incredible breakaway chance. Barrett tried to fake Jordan, but the Montréal goalkeeper advanced perfectly to take the ball away from Barrett's feet. There was a second chance for Vitti, but he fired it wide.

“I think I was in between two decisions,” said Barrett.

Montréal just couldn't get the equalizer. As Limniatis said in the post-match press conference, the defending champions may have played well enough to tie, but not well enough to win.

As for Toronto FC, it has a healthy six-point lead in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, although with a game in hand on the Impact and Whitecaps FC. Come next Wednesday, both opponents will play their second game as the Impact host Whitecaps FC at Stade Saputo.

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