- Thursday, 03 May 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Struggling Toronto FC settled for a 0-0 away draw against the Montreal Impact of Sanna Nyassi on Wednesday night in the opening game of their Amway Canadian Championship semifinal.
Toronto, the reigning Canadian champions, hardly threatened offensively throughout the 90 minutes before a crowd of 13,405 at Olympic Stadium. Off to a 0-7 start in Major League Soccer competition, and with home-field advantage in their favour for next week’s second leg, the Reds had to view the result as a positive.
Sanna’s Montreal, which beat Toronto for its first MLS regular season win on April 7, has yet to beat the Reds in seven Canadian Championship meetings (0-5-2). Toronto FC will host next Wednesday’s return match at BMO Field.
The winner of the two-game semifinal will face the winner of the other semifinal between the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps and Edmonton FC of the North American Soccer League. Sanna’s Impact, who are off to a 2-5-2 start in their inaugural MLS season, had a number of solid scoring opportunities, particularly in the first half.
After failing to connect with Lamar Neagle’s threatening through-ball in the opening half, Montreal’s Sanna Nyassi headed a cross by Jeb Brovsky over the goal in the 54th minute. Sanna was ruled offside when his shot found the back of the net in the 66th minute.
The Reds’ only threat in the first half came five minutes in when Reggie Lambe jumped on a turnover. The Bermudan forward drove into the 18-metre box where he was stood up and stopped by Impact defender Matteo Ferrari.
Lambe came up huge with a goal-line stop 27 minutes in, denying Montreal’s biggest threat in the first 45 when he headed clear Shavar Thomas’ header off a corner kick. Toronto goalkeeper Milos Kocic batted a couple of Impact scoring chances over the goal in the opening half, including Bernardo Corradi’s low header on Brovsky’s cross from the right side.
Regular season action for Impact resumes on the road this Saturday against the Eastern Conference leading Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Park and then they will return home to face the 2011 MLS Cup Champion LA Galaxy of David Beckham at Olympic Stadium on Saturday, May 12.