“The fans came to see a soccer match and they saw a boxing match. They got both.” That is how Chad Barrett summed it up in the post game press conference.
It might not have been pretty, but Toronto FC got the result they needed to start the three team, double round robin tournament for the Voyageurs Cup off on a positive note. Dwaynne De Rosario scored early when Montreal failed to clear a Sam Cronin corner and the ball fell to ever-the-opportunist DeRo who fired it home. Defender Ty Harden received a deep cut to his leg on the play when caught by Montreal keeper Matt Jordon’s studs and had to be replaced.
Twenty five minutes later, coach Preki was forced to make another adjustment to his back line when Nick Garcia was knocked unconscious by an out of play punch thrown by Roberto Brown which resulted in a red card to the Montreal forward. The man advantage should have provided the advantage TFC needed to roll up some important goals in a tournament where goal differential could decide the winner, but it was Montreal who had the better chances.
It was not until De Rosario initiated a revival at the 62 minute mark that the outcome became more secure. Playing a slyly disguised pass off to Chad Barrett, the Toronto forward showed a single minded determination to score, beating two Impact defenders with a lateral run, then turning sharply to fire the ball past Jordan.
Action in the series shifts to Vancouver May 5 when the Whitecaps host Montreal. May 12, it Montreal’s first chance at a home match when they host Toronto FC.