MONTREAL – Reinforcements could not have returned to a better time for Toronto FC.
Alejandro Pozuelo and Jozy Altidore scored to give Toronto FC a 2-0 win over rival Montreal Impact on Saturday night at Saputo Stadium. Altidore, along with Michael Bradley, made his return to training after being out with the United States men's national team for the Gold Cup.
"This game was great," said Altidore. "The whole week we talked about the importance of this game, being a derby game: it is important, trying to get back into shape at the table, this is one of those games that stimulate a season, we hope it is the game. I started some good things and thought the effort was fantastic. "
It was the first Toronto road victory since May 4, when they defeated Orlando City SC 2-0 and their first Toronto road victory in Montreal since 2017.
The new signing Omar Gonzalez also made his debut with the Reds and he didn't mind being thrown into the rivalry between Montreal and Toronto.
"I was prepared," said Gonzalez. "I didn't want to come here and take my time to get into things, I want to get to the bottom and that's what I did. I just wanted to finish the first game."
Both teams had chances in the first half, but no team was able to find the net after 45 minutes of play.
The impact wing Orji Okwonkwo had the most dangerous chance of his team in the eighth minute of play. After a failed mistake by Bradley, Okwonkwo ran towards the ball and pushed past the American before firing a shot at the Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg.
The TFC's best chance of the first half came at the 30th minute from Jacob Shaffelburg. Close to the limit of the area, the Canadian seems to have the chance to reach a goal, only for the Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush for the low shot.
Even the Montreal midfielder, Samuel Piette, came close to the net in the 33rd minute of play.
Despite an intense exchange between the attacker Anthony Jackson-Hamel and Bradley, only a yellow card was eliminated in the first half. A second will be deflected by Montreal defender Daniel Lovitz in the second half.
The impact lost Piette due to an injury in the second half. The Quebecer came out of the field holding on to his abdomen and was replaced by fellow Quebecer and midfielder Clement Bayiha.
With the main anchorage of Impact halfway, Pozuelo takes advantage of it. The Spaniard received a pass from midfielder Marco Delgado before taking a few steps and firing past Bush, giving Toronto a 1-0 lead. It was Pozuelo's eighth goal of the season.
The game was temporarily interrupted for 25 minutes due to rain three minutes later. Environment Canada has issued a storm warning for the city of Montreal a few minutes before the kick-off. Once the game resumed, it took less than five minutes to get more rain, but the game started.
"I would rather get into the 0-0 defeat of 0-0 because they gave us something to talk about and get organized for how we came out," Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney said. "We had a little bit of momentum in that stretch but I will take the goal at any time."
Jackson-Hamel almost drew at 72 & # 39; after receiving a pass from Bayiha who brought him into the area, but his close shot was hampered by Westberg.
Montreal had many chances but was unable to resolve Westberg from the final whistle. Instead, the goal in Altidore's stoppage time from a free kick out of the box gave visitors a 2-0 lead and secured victory.
NOTES: A sold-out crowd of 19.619 was announced at Stade Saputo on Saturday, the first of the year for Impact.