[CANADA] Toronto FC has apparently found a winning formula: De Ro plus a goal and an assist equals victory, no matter what the competition. The Canadian international attacker Dwayne De Rosario, who scored the first goal and assisted on the second Sunday when TFC downed Seattle, 2-0, in league play, did the same and got the same result in the opening game of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship at a soldout BMO Field.
De Rosario tallied in the 12th minute and also set up Chad Barrett for a goal in the 61st minute to down Montreal, 2-0, as the six-match, double round-robin NCC got underway. The winner of the three-team qualifying tournament earns the right to represent Canada in the 2010-11 Concacaf Champions’ League competition.
Montreal played more than half of the match with 10 men. Panamanian forward Robert Brown was sent off with a straight red card in the 36th minute for punching TFC defender Nick Garcia in the face. The resulting injury forced Garcia out of the game and necessitated the insertion of O’Brian White.
TFC jumped on top when Montreal couldn’t clear a Sam Cronin corner kick and the ball ping-ponged in the goalmouth. Impact keeper Matt Jordan lunged feet-first into a scrum, studding TFC defender Ty Harden and getting a piece of De Rosario, too, as he slid to stab the ball into the net. Jordan’s challenge earned him a caution and De Rosario needed several minutes to recover from the contact. Harden suffered a lacerated knee and left the field on a stretcher, to be replaced Raivis Hscanovics.
Leonardo Di Lorenzo set up Peter Byers for a good chance a few minutes prior to Brown’s ejection, but TFC keeper Stefan Frei easily saved his tame shot from close range. Frei needed to be much sharper just before the teams went into the dressing room for halftime. The injuries to De Rosario and Harden and Brown’s ejection produced an incredible nine additional minutes to the end of the first half, and as the last seconds ebbed away Frei stretched full-length to parry a rasping Di Lorenzo free kick.
TFC doubled its lead with a classy goal, created when De Rosario twisted and turned away from pressure at the edge of the penalty arc to play a ball wide left to Barrett. He collected it and skipped inside, wrong-footing Cedric Joqueviel and Adam Braz before blasting a shot high past Jordan and inside the far post.
In addition to Brown’s red card, referee Paul Ward issued six cautions and whistled 24 fouls in a rough-and-tumble opener to the competition. Vancouver plays its first NCC match Wednesday when it hosts the Impact at Swangard Stadium.
April 28 in Toronto
Toronto FC 2, Montreal 0. Goals: De Rosario 12, Barrett 61.
Toronto FC -- Frei; Gargan, Garcia (White, 39), Cann, Harden (Hscanovics, 18), Cronin, de Guzman, Peterson (LaBrocca, 62), Gala, De Rosario, Barrett.
Montreal – Jordan; Braz, Pizzolito, DeRoux, Joqueviel, Testo, Soares (Billy, 42), DiLorenzo (Placentino, 65), Donatelli, Brown, Byers (Sebrango, 68).
Referee: Paul Ward.