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Impact eliminate Toronto FC to advance to East semifinals

Photo by Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports

It was billed as a clash between star-studded Canadian powerhouses, but only one side showed up to play Thursday night.

The Montreal Impact ran rampant in the first half, toppling Toronto FC, 3-0, to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals. The win comes just days after the Impact topped their Canadian rivals, 2-1, to close the regular season.

With the win, the Impact book a series with the Columbus Crew, which kicks off at Stade Saputo on Sunday.

The Impact’s first goal of the evening came in the 19th minute, kickstarting the theme of TFC defensive collapses.

After winning the ball deep in their own half, the Impact broke through Ignacio Piatti, who took full advantage of space down the right of the field. With TFC defender Jackson caught upfield, Piatti spotted a darting Bernier, who split two defenders before finishing first time for the first Impact goal of the evening.

Calamity struck just 15 minutes later as a Josh Williams slip on the ball put Piatti through. The Argentinian playmaker slotted his shot to the far post, pushing the lead to 2-0.

The Impact then made it three in the 39th minute through Didier Drogba, whose finish proved to be his 12th in as many games.

Played in by Dilly Duka, Bernier appeared destined for his second goal of the evening before seeing his chipped effort cleared off the line. Bernier recovered the rebound before sending a cross to the far post to Drogba, who hammered a first time shot to send TFC to the locker room down by three.

Throughout the first half, Sebastian Giovinco was held in check save for a ninth minute save from Evan Bush. Bush came up big on a Michael Bradley from a Giovinco free kick, but the Reds were generally held quiet throughout the opening stanza.

The second half didn’t prove much better, as TFC failed to ever truly threaten the Impact en route to the 3-0 defeat.


  1. A lot of critiques here for TFC, but I think the story is how well Montreal played. Their passing, ball movement and interchange of players was just outstanding. Their movement off the ball was first rate also. They just sliced and diced open the TFC defense. It was a real clinic of attacking football.

    • +1

      There is a definitely a Drogba factor, which cannot be understated, but coaching has had something to do with it as well. This is pretty much the same team that Klopas had and he almost screwed the pooch with it. Yes, adding Drogba helps tons, but that passing, movement and interchanging you mentioned has to be associated to more than just Drogba showing up.

      • Sometimes people forget that there are 11 men per side and it is a team game. An outstanding player can make a difference but he does need a good supporting cast to keep the ball and get it to him.

  2. “if your presence doesn’t make an impact then your absence won’t make a difference”, this is true for Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, wow, wow wow. All Montreal had to do was take Giovinco out of the equation and TFC where toothless. The BMO boys had no attack, couldn’t control the ball in the midfield and had no creativity going forward, kind of like the USMNT. Its amazing how Bradley and Altidore are still fixed players with the national team…..absolutely amazing

  3. The bad news is that we don’t get to watch Giovinco play anymore
    The good news is that we don’t get to watch Bradley and Altidore “play” anymore
    That sound you hear is TFC’s toilet flushing money down the drain on those two useless clowns.
    I don’t know how much Drogba is making but if it’s not at least twice as those two combined he needs to find a new agent.

    • How about we hold off on that until Drogba actually wins the MLS Cup before we crown him King of MLS? You say this like Drogba and Montreal haven’t been shut down by better teams.

  4. Montréal full of passion and grit, Toronto the opposite – what joke their ownership is. Montréal-Crew, NY-DC next round should be quality

  5. TFC’s move paid off, they made the playoffs for the first time ever. next year will be the real test though. It will either be a few steps forward or many steps back… their signings will be crucial.

    they had a good year tho, two players(A & B) in the top 10 in MLS scoring. Player A had an MVP season. Player B only had 21 starts due to injury/call-ups; if you project his stats he would have had around 18 goals (top 5) with 30 starts, which some of the others in the top 10 had. Player B had the highest G/90 of any American in MLS and better efficiency than the rest of the top 10 in terms of goals per shot taken.

    They sorely need a better defense and one solid addiiton in the midfield, specifically a speedy winger with great crossing ability (many teams need the same…).

    Jackson at RB Kantari and a new signing at CB, new signing or Morrow at LB
    MB and CHeyrou stay with a new signing playing wide and Osorio/Delgado playing opposite. (Warner subbing for MB/Cheyrou).
    JA and GS up top. could even be a 433 if the new player is a true winger.

    • Spending $20m, finishing 6th and getting trampled by your rivals two weeks in a row – losing in the first round is not what they were shooting for! Congrats on barely getting into the playoffs for the first time but a terrible season for tfc. On paper, yes they should be able to build on this but nothing has paid off!

      • spending $20 mil and losing in the first round? so tell me, how did LAG do in the playoffs?… and their payroll is? so lets not turn this into the Salem Witch trials when hating on TFC. finishing 6th you say? there were one half of football on decision day from finishing 3rd and getting MTL at home rather than on the road(not to mention mathematically they could have finished second on decision day…). so lets not exaggerate and pretend they are not making strides forward. You’re undervaluing a franchise making the playoffs for their first time… they have an MVP, their first playoff app and the core (including youths beginning to break out) coming back next season.

        Look I’m not claiming they should get a “one shining moment” tribute but to act like they are a terrible team or a failure for MAKING THE PLAYOFFS is pretty silly. you don’t have to like/cheer for them but don’t hyperbolize by claiming their season to be a waste.

      • Sorry DOLA, but Beto is 100% right. LAG has championships. TFC has a history of disappointment. But the last two years have been disappointment with huge salaries. I wouldn’t consider a one and done playoff appearance progress based on what they spent. Hell, 60% of the MLS teams make the playoffs. And if you’re going to use if’s and but’s about finishing third, than one can easily argue that TFC misses the playoffs altogether if one or two goals don’t go thir way. So no, it’s not silly. A team has expectations at the start of a season. I doubt the owners threw this kind of money around thinking that this was an acceptable outcome.

    • One of the hopes I had for Bradley when he went to Toronto was that he would be forced to take a team on his back and carry it to victory. That is the kind of role he would never have had the opportunity for in europe. So far, he has not done that, but the pressure is on him and he probably feels it more than most suppose. There are a lot of little things that go into making a player that kind of difference on the field and he has, I think, improved in some of them. TFC’s reliance on Giovinco’ss creativity to bail them out in games has taken a bit of the pressure off Bradley and Altidore, but they simply must do better.

      Still a better defense would have helped TFC a lot, with 58 goals against, they are tied with the Fire and NYC at the bottom of MLS, only slightly better than the Union and Orlando. It is probably not totally fair to blame the players who are supposed to be attacking for bleeding goals.

      • I just don’t see Bradley that way at all. He is a very solid end to end midfielder who can unlock a defense at times from a deep lying position or venture forward and hit a strike. He worked his way to the upper end of US soccer through being a smart, fundamental player who runs ,runs, runs. He is not a hyper creative playmaker, does not have elite athletic tools and will not and should not be expected to carry a team. No one in Europe would ever have put him in that role and it hasn’t worked for TFC or the national team. I say this as someone who respects Bradley, thinks he is a leader, foundational player for the Nats… just think he has been miscast.

    • i like that you used “player A” and “player B”, cause if you had used player B’s real name, this thread would have been derailed right quick.

      • Lol that’s exactly why I did that. With the context removed he had a good season yet some people won’t believe that. Also as above, people seem to think TFC wasted money? What people don’t realize is the way soccer is set up its a high initial investment but the players they bought should be there for a few years. You have a team that has never been anything but terrible but now they spend big money and it def payed off. If h E ha lee spend 300 mil and lose in the first round THATS a failure. If the royals spend a lot and make the playoffs for the first time in a while it’s not a failure. Nokia prickly bad team can spend big money and realistically expect to win the chip….. That’s silly. Changing a teams culture from losing to winning takes several seasons. Last season they we in the playoffs but fell off at the end of the season and missed the playoffs by 3 points. The following year they bring in even better talent and they end up in the playoffs. How can that be a failure people. Out your bias aside they had their best season in franchise history and people only want to lament them for sp being too much? Get a freakin life lol. I guarantee the owners would be happy making the playoffs this season. The fans are still behind the team. How can u hate on a team that’s done its best ever? Seriously. Take context out and ppl lilwho Wowzers and Bryan are hating because a team made the playoffs? Absolutely hilarious. Now if they finish bottom of the table next season THEN it’s a failure. But what if they make the finals with a similar roster? It would only strengthen the current upward trend. People need to stop hating on teams without factual evidence of them being bad

    • Arguably the money they spend on some of their forwards was wasted and could have been better spent on a solid defender (or two). TFC is not a bad team but they certainly haven’t found the right mix of players.


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