Thursday, June 18, 2009

Voyageurs Cup: Toronto - Montreal live blog


18 June 2009

Stade Saputo, Montreal, QC
8 pm et / 7 pm ct / 5 pm pt

Live on Rogers Sportsnet
French online stream at Radio Canada Sports

The Impact site's match tracker has the lineups, though they list 12 players for Montreal. They might need to resort to such a strategy, considering the depletion of their lineup due to injury, especially at the back.

I'll list all 12 players until a more correct lineup appears, here or elsewhere, closer to game time.

TORONTO: Stefan Frei, Jim Brennan, Nick Garcia, Adrian Serioux, Nana Attakora-Gyan, Sam Cronin, Dwayne De Rosario, Amado Guevara, Carl Robinson, Danny Dichio, Pablo Vitti

MONTREAL: Srdjan Djekanovic, Stephen de Roux, Simon Gatti, Elkana Mayard, Kevin Sakuda, Leonardi di Lorenzo, Tony Donatelli, Joey Gjertsen, David Testo, Peter Byers, Alen Marcina, Pierre-Rudolph Mayard

Key players for Montreal dressed, but not starting: Stefano Pesoli (returning from injury), Sandro Grande, Rocco Placentino, Roberto Brown. The three players listed as forwards (attaquants) haven't played a lot this year.

The French announcers, quite rightly, are describing this match as a battle between a Toronto A team and a Montreal B team.

Toronto are starting in a 3-5-2 alignment. Montreal have Kevin Sakuda partnering Elkana Mayard in the centre of defense. Expect me to be hard on Sakuda throughout the match.

5th minute: In the first bit of the match, it's been fairly even. Di Lorenzo shot over the bar on the only half-chance so far.

11th: Still not too much happening. De Rosario got a yellow card, and Dichio missed a header. For a team that needs 4 goals, Toronto isn't showing a lot going forward quite yet.

17th: Toronto had a good chance after a De Roux giveaway, but couldn't score. De Roux is the other Montreal player I don't like but I'm starting to come around on him.

PENALTY . . . to MONTREAL. And Donatelli scores. 1-0 IMPACT in the 24th minute.

If Toronto's strategy was to score once in each quarter of the match, they failed to do so in the first 22:30 as well.

28th: Just as Montreal scored in the aftermath of a corner, Toronto gets one back the same way. Dwayne De Rosario finished with a nice bicycle kick after Kevin Sakuda (of course) looked the wrong way.

Toronto still don't look like a team that are going to score 5 goals tonight.

36th: Sakuda is having a howler out there. He can't play with Dichio. If Pesoli is at all healthy, he needs to replace him at half time. Elkana Mayard, on the other hand, looks excellent.

40th: 2-1 Toronto. Dwayne De Rosario again. A deflected shot, and Stephen de Roux didn't do nearly well enough on the play. Nervous time begins already.

44th: These announcers have lost it. They are claiming that De Rosario is the best Canadian player, ahead of even De Guzman. Hint: he's not. Not even that close.

HALF TIME: 2-1 Toronto.

Some thoughts:
  • 2-1 is a fair scoreline. Toronto has had the better of possession and territorial play, and obviously they have the two goals. They have wasted more chance, while there has been a roughly equal number of missed close opportunities, including a nice FK whipped in by Pierre-Rudolph Mayard.
  • It looks like the title of douche-iest TFC player will be passed from Jim Brennan to newcomer Nick Garcia. I haven't seen as many Montreal games, but of the guys on the field tonight, I'd go with David Testo.
  • I don't want to be making excuses for Montreal, but if Toronto's best 3 or 4 defenders were out, what would their back line look like?
  • Nice to finally see Dwayne De Rosario show something.
  • Pablo Vitti has contributed his usual useless dribbling to the first half.
  • TFC diehards may want to beat me to death with a tire iron for saying it, but Dichio's finishing this half has been Chad Barrett-esque.
Now a break to stretch my legs, as I've been crouched in front of my computer, which is sitting on an air conditioning grate to keep from overheating. Still, almost 6 years from a notebook, which is a good long life.

51st: Rejoined in progress . . . and it's 3-1 for Toronto. Not sure who scored. Thank fuck, from Montreal's perspective, that Pesoli is on for Testo, and will be taking Sakuda's spot in the centre of defense.

The third Toronto goal was also from De Rosario. Nice game for him.

54th: Not for the first time in the game, the striker Mayard shoots instead of making the pass. Had he gotten the ball through to Byers it would have been an easy goal that only Chad Barrett could have missed.

Speaking of Chad Barrett, he is in the game. For Dichio, perhaps? Seems a strange move if the objective is to score goals.

Barrett came on for Vitti I think. Not much of a difference there.

63rd: Another great scoring scramble chance for Toronto after yet another mistake by Kevin Sakuda.

Adrian Serioux is off for Marco Velez, which can only mean that Adrian is injured, as Velez is utter shit.

Great chance at the other end as De Roux, Mayard and Byers get together. Frei made a good save, as he did earlier on a Mayard breakaway. Match could easily be 3-3 or 4-3 or some other ungodly score by now.

Felix Brillant has come on now, for Gjertsen I think.

67th: Toronto had a 1-on-1 break against Djekanovic, but Impact fans are thanking their lucky stars that is was Barrett that took the shot. Srdjan made a nice kick save.

But shit, Amado Guevara scores on a nice FK, and it is 4-1 Toronto.

83rd: Toronto scores. What a joke of a match. I'm out.

Thank you Marc Dos Santos for disgracing the competition with this ridiculous lineup.

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