Home MLS Montreal Impact Impact coach, owner both show displeasure over team’s humiliating loss to TFC

Impact coach, owner both show displeasure over team’s humiliating loss to TFC

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The Impact’s first Designated Player, Marco Di Vaio, debuted with the team Wednesday evening, suiting up against visiting Toronto FC for 55 minutes in a game where he did not play a major or deciding role for his new team.

The first 5000 fans to arrive at Stade Saputo received towels to commemorate his initial outing, which ended in a 3-0 Toronto victory, the Reds’ second win of the 2012 campaign coinciding with their hosts’ second home loss of the schedule — and depriving the Impact of a chance to move up to fifth place and playoff contention on the MLS Eastern Conference table.

“I think we were totally outcompeted at every spot on the field,” said Impact coach Jesse Marsch. “Toronto is to be congratulated because, 100 per cent, they deserved to win the game. They wanted it more. They had more heart and they fought harder. We came up short in all those competitive categories.

“It’s a very disappointing loss for us and a big step backwards. It’s frustrating and now we have to figure out how to recover because we have a very tough game coming up against a good team (Saturday vs D.C. United),” the Montreal head coach concluded.

The scoreless opening half saw the Impact take the game to the visitors, getting four chances at the Toronto net in the first nine minutes and dominating every statistical category but the most important, goals scored.

Two attempts came courtesy of Di Vaio crosses into the box in the fourth minute. Midfielder, Lamar Neagle put the ball over the crossbar in the sixth and forward Felipe rolled a Neagle pass wide to the right of visiting ‘keeper, Milos Kocic, in the ninth.

Di Vaio had his first chance in the 22nd minute of play, eliciting groans from the crowd announced at 14,412when he was unable to take control of the ball and put it on net.

“We see the flashes that he has but we didn’t get him going enough or get him the ball enough,” commented Marsch after the game.

Toronto’s first and only real opportunity of the first 45 came in the 31st minute, when forward Danny Koevermans’ errant shot went over the woodwork.

Toronto defender Jeremy Hall would have been a shoo-in if there had been an award for the most unfortunate player on the pitch. In the 25th minute a series of headers ended with a Hassoun Camara boot to Hall’s right cheek. A dozen minutes later he blocked a Neagle shot with his face. Hall did not come out for the second half, his spot up top taken by Nick Soolsma.

The second half was all Toronto as the visiting team poured it on playing more like a team with one loss than a single MLS victory to its credit.

The Reds took the lead in the 52nd minute on the strength of a free-kick goal by captain Torsten Frings, taking a brief moment out from his hermetic coverage of Impact midfielder, Felipe — the Brazilian unable to extend the hot streak that saw him post at least a point in each of his last four games.

The hottest scorer for Montreal in recent matches, the 21-year-old Felipe came in for very close marking from Frings, who took a break from those duties to take a free kick awarded when defender Shavar Thomas fouled forward Ryan Johnson. It found the mesh behind Donovan Ricketts to put Toronto ahead at the 52-minute mark.

Di Vaio subbed out in the 55th with Sanna Nyassi coming on and Zarek Valentin left his defence spot to be replaced by Eddy Sebrango shortly afterwards, giving the Impact three men up top.

The Impact’s new formation paid off — for Toronto — almost immediately as Ryan Johnson took a Soolsma pass just outside the box and put a second ball into the Montreal net.

While in recent weeks a 2-0 lead has been the precursor to a Toronto fold job, the pattern established in recent matches did not hold true as the visiting squad maintained their control of the game.

In the 78th minute a Montreal defensive breakdown resulted in an Ashtone Morgan cross finding Koevermans, who tipped the ball home, his seventh of the season stretching the Toronto lead to three goals. The crowd let the Impact know that they were not impressed with the team’s play, most sharing the information verbally and others registering their displeasure with their feet as they began streaming to the exits.

“We were second on the ball all game. We made mistakes and we didn’t have the will necessary to win. This is the second time they’ve outclassed us in a game,” declared midfielder Patrice Bernier. “We played a couple good games at home but tonight we only played one half.

It was 0-0 at halftime and then the team that wanted it more won. We can’t afford to perform like this, especially at home.”

Team president Joey Saputo shared his displeasure with the evening’s entertainment, tweeting a short and far from sweet “Absolute disgrace, enough said,” at the conclusion of play.

The Impact travels to Washington where they will meet DC United on Saturday. Their next home game is on July 4, when they receive a visit from the Philadelphia Union.

THROW-INS – Montreal goalkeeper Greg Sutton (2007-2009) and team manager Adam Braz both formerly wore TFC red while Toronto defender, Adrian Cann (2004-2005) spent time in Impact blue before heading west along highway 401.

• Montreal midfielder Felipe, until very recently riding the longest MLS scoring streak, has also accumulated four yellow cards this season and will sit out the match following his next caution.

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