Montreal Impact survived a thrilling game in Toronto and won the Canadian Championship. Wilmer Cabrera’s guys were calmer during the penalty shootout and snatched the trophy from FC whose reign lasted for three years. After the regular part of the game, the result was 1-0 for the home team, and the only scorer was Tsubasa Endoh.
“We became stronger and our stronger and our confidence grew,” said Impact coach Wilmer Cabrera on his team’s performance during the penalties.
Interestingly, the hosts scored in the opening series, and then missed three times in a row, while on the other side, Impact’s players were cool and they hit the back of the net all three times. Rudy Camacho, Bojan Krkic and Daniel Lovitz didn’t break down under pressure, and they routinely converted their chances from the white spot.
Meanwhile, the only one who scored from the penalty for the home team was Alejandro Pozuelo, while Jozy Altidore, Patrick Mullins, and Jonathan Osorio missed their chances. Altidore and Osorio, both hit the crossbar, silencing the fans at the BMO Field.
The contest itself was tough and fierce. Montreal had a 1-0 lead from game one and tried to preserve it, while on the other hand, endangering Toronto’s goalkeeper Alex Bono from counter-attacks. When looking at the statistics, you can see that the home team didn’t have too many chances, even though they held the ball more in their possession.
Throughout the contest, Toronto made only one shot on goal, while on the other side, Montreal had four of them. But what was important is the fact that FC scored from that shot. It was Endoh who scored, after following the action of his team and reaching up to one loose ball, before nailing it besides Montreal’s goalkeeper Diop.
The majority of the fans at the BMO were thinking that the momentum shifted onto Toronto’s side, and that the home team has enough time to score another goal, the one which will retain the title. But that didn’t happen.
The frustration was increasing as time went by, and there was more an more space behind Toronto’s defense, as the hosts became more offensive-minded. Because of that, Chris Mavinga received a direct red card for bringing down Lassi Lappalainen outside the box, preventing the opponent from creating troubles to his team.
We need to say that Montreal had some chances in the opening 45 minutes, but Bono rose to the occasion and preserved his net intact. The hosts too had some opportunities to score earlier; however, all of their shots were wide, even the ones from respectable positions.
For Montreal, this is the first title after 2014, and Impact will now compete in the CONCACAF Champions League. Back in 2015 they reached the Finals, but lost to Chivas Guadalajara on penalties. It was one of the most exciting finals ever in this competition.
As for Wilmer Cabrera, he became the first coach who won both the US Open Cup and the Canadian Championship.
Up next, Montreal hosts Atlanta United in the MLS championship. Meanwhile, Toronto visits Chicago.