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Toronto FC reaches Canadian Championship final after tying Montreal Impact

Toronto FC reaches Canadian Championship final after tying Montreal Impact

Posted by PanamericanWorld on June 09, 2016

Toronto FC advanced to the final of the 2016 Canadian Championship with a 0-0 draw at the Montreal Impact on Wednesday night, which closed out a two-legged semifinal round following last week's 4-2 TFC victory.

With a two-goal cushion in hand, Toronto was willing to concede the lion's share of possession in Wednesday's second leg and concentrate on keeping its shape defensively throughout the match.

Despite having most of the ball for the first half, the Impact could do little to break down the disciplined team-wide defending of the visiting side. Toronto's efforts to snuff out any kind of attack in the final third led to some ugly soccer to open the game but served to frustrate Montreal.

The Impact did manage to find some holes in the staunch TFC defence toward the end of the opening half, however.

In the 37th minute, Lucas Ontivero received the ball at the top of the box after some inventive play by his teammates. The Argentine spun off his defender and unleashed a decent effort from the top of the Toronto 18-yard box, but goalkeeper Clint Irwin was equal to the task with a full-stretch save to keep the game scoreless.

Montreal began finding more time in front of the TFC goal, and ended up forcing four consecutive corner kicks in a short span. The last of those led to the best chance of the half for the home side, as Michael Salazar found himself with the ball at his feet inside the six-yard box, but the Impact forward scuffed his shot under pressure from TFC defender Steven Beitashour.

After the break, Toronto actually started the second half with a little more attacking intent. In the 54th minute, Beitashour had a hard strike from 15 yards which Eric Kronberg did well to save. The Impact goalkeeper bobbled the ball allowing Daniel Lovitz to charge in for the rebound, but Kronberg managed to sprawl across to keep the ball out of his net.

Things got ugly on the hour mark as Ontivero was ejected for a headbutt on TFC's Will Johnson. A moment before, Ontivero collided with Ashtone Morgan inside the Toronto penalty area, which the Impact player felt should have been called for a spot kick. Johnson and Ontivero then got into a shouting match, which led to the contact that referee Silviu Petrescu deemed to be red card worthy.

Down to 10 men for the second straight match, the Impact found chances even tougher to come by for the remainder of the match. Substitute Cameron Porter managed Montreal's only shot on target in the second half, a weak effort directly at Irwin in the 73rd minute, but otherwise it was nothing but frustration as the clock ticked down.

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