Sunday, August 26, 2018

Victory vs Montreal (TFC 3 Montreal 1)

Last season, that glorious season where almost everything went right, the one glaring game that went wrong was the home game hosting Montreal.
TFC 3 Impact 5 was the final.
I can recall consoling myself that it was late season and here I was grumpy about TFC giving up their first home loss. Losing to Montreal is always capable of putting a TFC fan on the road to grumpy.

I approached last night's game with concern. TFC is chasing Montreal for a playoff spot*. Montreal can derail the Toronto playoff drive, hanging by a thread (those phrases cobbled together for mixed metaphor fans). Did Montreal still have a touch of whatever evil magic allowed them to conquer in that 2017 game?

TFC fans were able to exhale from the start. The first 29 minutes were superb. TFC were playing precise short passes, players were finding spaces and goals were scored. Two for Giovinco and one for Osorio.
Then Montreal scored their goal and Toronto lost the attacking sparkle. The Montreal goal shattered more than the attack. Why did Alex Bono set himself up for the shot from Silva giving away so much space on the short side? I also feel that TFC lacks precisely that sort of attack, the player who will and can score off of a shot from distance.

I understand that shutting down your opponent and protecting a lead is very important, especially against Montreal, the first game after squandering a win on the road in San Jose. It was tense throughout the second half though. TFC went from attack as the best form of defending to relying on Montreal's lack of midfield possession game and lack of potent attack to get them through. A couple of goals called back on offside decisions had us holding our breath. I want to say that TFC is a much, much better team than Montreal. The day after finds me grateful for the victory and the three points, but remain concerned about the road ahead.
Not just last night against Montreal but while down to 10 men for most of the game against NYCFC and the game on the road in Atlanta I have felt that TFC retain their championship quality. Can they do that again and again in the last two months of season 2018? Can they do it for 90 minutes during the tough road games such as Portland or DC or Montreal?

Portland is a late game Wednesday night.

Until then...

* Playoff position update - Montreal and New England both losing last night helped Toronto, yet the two teams to worry most about lately are Philly and DC United. The Union have been a hot team and DC are even with Toronto in points, 27, but have played three less games.

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