Toronto FC hold 4-2 series lead

Toronto FC 4:2 Impact Montréal FC

It was a six-goal affair in the latest Toronto-Montréal derby, with home side Toronto FC taking a 4-2 lead in the 2016 semi finals of the Amway Canadian Championship. Canadians Jonathan Osorio and Jordan Hamilton scored a brace each for Toronto before Michael Salazar and Didier Drogba scored for 10-man visitors late in the second half.

The return leg takes place in one week, with 90 minutes dividing a place in the national final. Both Amway Canadian Championship semi finals wrap up on Wednesday 8 June, with the matches broadcast live on TSN2. The Montréal-Toronto match kicks off at 19.30 ET / 16.30 PT (19.30 local at Stade Saputo) while the Vancouver-Ottawa match kicks off at 22.00 ET / 19.00 PT (19.00 local at BC Place).

Osorio gave Toronto FC a 2-0 lead in the first half (13′ and 34′) before Patrice Bernier was shown a red card just before the half-time whistle. Hamilton then scored twice on the other side of the break (60′, 80′) before Drogba assisted on Michael Salazar’s goal (86′) and then scored his own (90’+1) before the final whistle. The six goals were scored in front of a terrific crowd of 22,143, the second largest crowd in the Championship’s nine-year history.

Of note, Osorio and Hamilton were just the second combination of teammates to each score a brace in a Championship match, with the young Canadian pair matching the 2009 feat of Dwayne De Rosario and Amado Guevara in Montréal. The hometown heroes both scored for the first time in the competition, with Hamilton in fact making his Championship debut. In all, 10 Canadians featured in the match, with both Ashtone Morgan and Molham Babouli contributing assists in the Toronto victory.

“I am very proud of the group,” said Greg Vanney, Head Coach of Toronto FC. “They came out motivated and aggressive the way we asked. They deserved what they go today.”

On the first goal, Morgan crossed from down the left side before Osorio knocked it in from inside the box. On the second goal, a Babouli ball was clipped back by a falling Hamilton before Osorio beat the goalkeeper. Osorio scored his first goal with his right foot and his second goal with his left foot.

In the second half, Toronto made it 3-0 after a Babouli header was controlled and fired on target by Hamilton. Then with 10 minutes remaining, it was a Steven Beitashour pass from the touch line that Hamilton converted into a 4-0 Toronto advantage. Hamilton scored both of his goals with his left foot.

Before the end of the match, however, Montréal scored two of their own with 38-year old Championship debutant Drogba involved both times. The second goal in the dying minutes was a Drogba free kick that curled beyond the wall and out of goalkeeper Clint Irwin’s reach.

Both Hamilton and Drogba were selected Wednesday night’s Stars of the Match.

The Amway Canadian Championship is Canada Soccer’s professional competition featuring clubs from Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montréal. The national champion lifts the Voyageurs Cup and wins Canada’s lone spot in CONCACAF Champions League on the road to the FIFA Club World Cup. In the 2016 semi finals, Ottawa Fury FC face Vancouver Whitecaps FC while Toronto FC face Impact Montréal FC.

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