MONTREAL — Toronto FC scored early and never looked back en route to a 2-0 win over the Montreal Impact at Saputo Stadium on Saturday for their first win in five league games.
Last-place Montreal (3-13-5), meanwhile, has now lost a franchise-high six games in a row. The Impact have been at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings for four months.
An early strike by Gilberto was all Toronto needed to cruise to victory. Luke Moore added an insurance goal for the visitors in the second half to seal the win.
The was Montreal’s first game since a midweek management shuffle that saw sporting director Nick De Santis moved to an administrative role.
With the win, TFC (8-7-5) leapfrogged the New England Revolution and now sit third in the Eastern Conference.
Star striker Jermain Defoe missed the game with a possible sports hernia he may have sustained during Toronto’s midweek clash with D.C. United.
The former Tottenham Hotspur forward, acquired by TFC in January, will undergo a scan on Sunday to determine the severity of the injury. Defoe will likely miss this Wednesday’s Major League Soccer all-star game.
But Toronto didn’t need its leading goal scorer on Saturday, as the visiting team, playing its third game in eight days, quickly opened the scoring..
Gilberto had his goal in the 11th minute when his shot from inside the 18-yard box rang off the crossbar and landed a foot across the goal-line. Impact goalie Troy Perkins smothered the ball, but the linesman confirmed it was a good goal.
Perkins got the start in net, his first match since July 12 when a defensive mistake in the game’s final minute handed Sporting Kansas City the road victory. Backup ‘keeper Evan Bush started between the uprights in the Impact’s following three games — all losses.
Moore doubled Toronto’s lead in the 54th minute, beating Perkins to a loose ball in front of the net for an easy tap-in. U.S. international Michael Bradley got the play going when his stunning through ball from deep in his own half found a streaking Dominic Oduro. Impact defender Krzysztof Krol blocked Oduro’s shot, but the ball fell right into Moore’s path.
Defender Nick Hagglund almost added a third for TFC in the game’s final minutes, but his header off a corner kick was saved by Perkins and pushed onto the crossbar.
The last time these two clubs faced each other, Montreal recorded a 1-0 victory at home to repeat as winners of the Amway Canadian Championship.
Notes: With Montreal playing its first CONCACAF Champions League match on Tuesday, its league game versus TFC, which was initially scheduled for Sunday, was moved up a day. à Dilly Duka, 24, acquired from the Chicago Fire in exchange for Sanna Nyassi on Tuesday, came on as a substitute in the 74th minute. à Forward Anthony Jackson-Hammel, who will be 21 on Sunday, made his first appearance with the Impact since signing a professional contract on Friday. à Montreal had no shots on target at the half. à There were 16,665 people in attendance at Saputo Stadium on Saturday, including a large and noisy contingent of TFC supporters.