Ayo Akinola the Hero against the Montreal Impact

Ayo Akinola
Second Half photos as Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC in Group C - Matthew Stith and Jared Martinez

ORLANDO, Fla. – It was a wild game as Ayo Akinola got his hat-trick against the Montreal Impact to give Toronto FC 4 points through two games in Group C of MLS is Back. Both teams were not playing defence in the first half. There were five goals scored in total by both teams in the first half. The 401 Derby rivals (it can also be called the BMO Derby as both teams are sponsored by BMO) did not fail to disappoint.

Ayo Akinola Scores Hat-Trick against the Montreal Impact

Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact Game Review

The first half showed lapses in defence and concentration on both teams but also showed brilliant skilled play from both TFC and the Impact.

Both teams scored one goal each within the first 20 minutes. Toronto FC was dominating the possession in the early part of the game (although they ended up with only 43 percent of possession at the end of the game).

Emanuel Maciel delivered a great long pass for Romell Quioto who drove it past Quentin Westberg for the Impact’s first goal. Then, TFC showed their quality in their second goal with Alejandro Pozuelo, Pablo Piatti, and Akinola who connected perfectly together. It was a big reason why TFC regained the lead in the 25th minute.

There were some defensive lapses on both teams. Chris Mavinga’s tackle on Quioto resulted in a penalty kick in which the Impact’s Saphir Taider converted the penalty kick. The Impact’s defence then lapsed again causing Akinola to score his second goal of the tournament.

Mid-way through the second half, it felt like TFC became a more defensive team. They replaced Tsubasa Endoh for centre-back Laurent Ciman. The Montreal Impact also became a more defensive team in the second half.

The Montreal Impact had a few chances in the second half. This includes Anthony Jackson-Hemel who had a good chance to score in the 75th minute from a Quoto cross.

Then in the 83rd minute, Akinola scored his hat-trick goal. He has scored five of the six goals for Toronto FC and is currently leading in the Golden Boot race for the MLS is Back Tournament. This was also the first goal not assisted by Alejandro Pozuelo, who has assisted in five of Toronto FC’s six goals.

Unfortunately, like D.C. United, Toronto FC conceded late to the Montreal Impact. This goal also came from a penalty kick as Laurent Ciman’s hand touched the ball. This gave Ciman’s former team, the Impact a penalty kick late, with Taider converting again. However, unlike against D.C. United, TFC did not break and ended up winning the game 4-3.

Overview of the Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact game – Ayo Akinola the Hero

Toronto FC was more clinical against the Impact then they were against D.C. United. They had eight shots, with six of them being on target and four going into the back of the net. The Impact was almost as clinical with nine shots, six on target, and three going into the back of the net. Yes, the defence was not great for both teams, but the ruthless finishing both teams showed was also a factor with the high score.

The player of the game for this one is both Akinola and Pozuelo. As mentioned previously Akinola had a hat-trick in this game, while Pozuelo had three assists. Both players have been the stars of the tournament for Toronto FC. Also, Richie Laryea contributed to the game scoring TFC’s first goal of the game.

Group C Upcoming Games

Toronto FC sits in first place with four points, while the Montreal Impact sits in Group C in last with zero points. However, D.C. United (with one point) and the New England Revolution (with three points) have a game in hand. Both teams will play against each other at 8:00 PM (eastern time) tomorrow.

Toronto FC is in a particularly good position to advance to the knockout stage. They stand first in Group C with one win and one tie. However, nothing is for certain as they still need to play one more game. They have not yet qualified for the knockout stage in MLS. While for the Montreal Impact, they must win on Tuesday, otherwise, they will most likely be eliminated from the MLS is Back Tournament.

The last two Group C games will take place next Tuesday. First, Toronto FC will face the New England Revolution at 9:00 AM eastern time. Then at 10:30 PM eastern time, the final Group C game will be between the Montreal Impact and D.C. United.

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