The first-leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final ended in a draw as Toronto FC drew 1-1 with the Montreal Impact at BMO Field. The second-leg in Montreal takes place next Wednesday with the winner entering the CONCACAF Champions League for the 2014/15 season. Here are our key takeaways from last night’s game:
1. Doneil Henry is a beast.
The 21-year-old Canadian defender is always solid at the back, and last night showed how dangerous he can be from set-pieces at the other end, as he powered home a header for the opening goal of the game. Henry certainly has a bright future ahead of him and is a key asset in the Reds side.
2. Toronto need to field their strongest side.
Jermain Defoe, Mark Bloom and Kyle Bekker all sat on the bench, with only Bekker seeing any action at all. They need to play Defoe next week to have a chance of securing the win, especially with Gilberto still struggling for a goal. Ryan Nelsen may have had one eye on the weekend’s game with Columbus Crew in the Trillium Cup match but he must use his stars if they want to lift the trophy.
3. Justin Mapp has got bags of ability.
The American winger has been the key man for the Impact for much of the season, and last night scored a wonderful solo goal to tie up the game in the second-half. The 29-year-old ran with the ball towards the Toronto defence before curling a well-directed shot into the far corner. Montreal will need Mapp to perform as he did if they are to have any chance of reviving their season in MLS.
4. There will be plenty of chances in another entertaining game next week.
The final will be decided next week, and promises to be a very entertaining affair as both sides will be desperate to get the win. There were numerous chances last night and penalty shouts for either side, and the draw shapes the tie very nicely. There were nineteen shots between the two sides last night, and expect the same sort of match next Wednesday.