Impact get shut out by Toronto FC
Toronto FC's Jozy Altidore (17) gestures after scoring during second half MLS soccer action against the Montreal Impact in Montreal, Saturday, July 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Julian McKenzie, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, July 13, 2019 10:36PM EDT
Alejandro Pozuelo and Jozy Altidore scored to give Toronto FC a 2-0 victory over the rival the Montreal Impact on Saturday night at Saputo Stadium.
It was Toronto's first road win since May 4, when they defeated Orlando City SC 2-0, and Toronto's first road win in Montreal since 2017.
Both sides had chances in the first half, but neither team could find the back of the net after 45 minutes of play.
Impact winger Orji Okwonkwo had his team's most dangerous chance in the eighth minute of play.
After a failed clearance by Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley, Okwonkwo ran towards the ball and pushed himself past the American before firing a shot off Toronto 'keeper Quentin Westberg.
TFC's best chance of the half came in the 30th from Jacob Shaffelburg. Near the edge of the penalty area, the Canadian look a chance towards a goal, only for Impact 'keeper Evan Bush to scoop the low shot.
Montreal midfielder Samuel Piette also skied the ball over the net in the 33rd minute of play.
Despite a tense exchange between Impact striker Anthony Jackson-Hamel and Bradley only one yellow card was doled out in the first half. A second would be dished out to Montreal defender Daniel Lovitz in the second half.
The Impact lost Piette due to injury in the second half. The Quebecer walked off the field clutching his abdomen and would be replaced by fellow Quebecer and midfielder Clement Bayiha.
With the Impact's main anchor down the middle gone, Pozuelo took advantage. The Spaniard received a headed pass from midfielder Marco Delgado before taking a few strides and firing a shot past Bush, giving Toronto a 1-0 lead. It was Pozuelo's eighth goal of the season.
Over three minutes later, the match was temporarily stopped for 25 minutes due to rain. Environment Canada released a thunderstorm watch alert for the city of Montreal minutes before kick-off. Once play resumed, it took under five minutes of game time for more rain to return but the game played on.
Jackson-Hamel nearly equalized in the 72nd minute after receiving a pass from Bayiha that sprung him into the penalty area but his shot from in close was stymied by Westberg.
Montreal had a flurry of chances in stoppage time, but couldn't solve Westberg by the referee's final whistle. Instead, Altidore's stoppage time goal from a free kick outside the box gave the visitors a 2-0 lead and secured the victory.
NOTES: A sellout crowd of 19,619 was announced at Stade Saputo Saturday, the first of the year for the Impact.