Giovinco scores twice, TFC downs Impact 3-1 to stretch unbeaten streak to 9
Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco celebrates scoring against the Montreal Impact during second half MLS soccer action in Montreal, Sunday, August 27, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, August 27, 2017 7:54PM EDT
MONTREAL - Sebastian Giovinco had two goals and Jozy Altidore also scored as rampaging Toronto FC downed the Montreal Impact 3-1 before a sellout crowd of 20,801 at Saputo Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Toronto (16-3-8) stretched its unbeaten run to nine games and stayed on course to produce the best regular season record in Major League Soccer history. TFC, which swept a string of three games in an eight-day period, including two away from home, improved its league-best road record to 6-3-5.
They also stopped the rival Impact's four-game winning streak. It was a setback for Montreal (10-9-6), which is in a battle to make the playoffs this season.
Ignacio Piatti got his 15th goal for Montreal in added time on pass from Daniel Lovitz off a free kick, only to see Giovinco get it back a moment later with a smooth left-foot volley for his 15th of the campaign.
The boisterous crowd booed when Altidore sold a heavy fall to the ground to referee Robert Sibiga when he felt Blerim Dzemaili's hand on his back, giving Toronto a free kick from about 22 yards in front of the Montreal goal.
Giovinco, perhaps the league's most dangerous dead ball kicker, left goalkeeper Evan Bush no chance as he curled it over the wall and inside the near post in the 41st minute. The Italian took a dig at Montreal fans by pretending to wipe tears away as part of his celebration.
Giovinco shot just over the bar on a free kick from 25 yards in the 34th.
Montreal had its own chance when Nicolas Hasler was called for a hand ball just outside the Toronto penalty area. Alex Bono made a diving save as Dzemaili blasted it through the wall and Matteo Mancosu could not handle the rebound.
With Montreal pressing on attack to start the second half, Victor Vazquez put a long throw-in down the right side for Marky Delgado. The midfielder sent a cross into the middle for Altidore to redirect past Bush for his 11th goal in the 52nd minute.
That prompted the cluster of about 200 Toronto fans in the east grandstand to pull out a banner that read 'Say hello to the league leaders.'
Dzemaili was shown the yellow card just before halftime as he protested Sibiga's calls.
It was the first of three meetings between the rivals over the next seven weeks, with games Sept. 20 and Oct. 15 in Toronto.
The clubs met twice in the Canadian Championship in June, with TFC winning 3-2 on aggregate. The Reds also came out on top in a wild Eastern Conference final last November.
Montreal ends a four-game homestand Saturday against Chicago, while TFC is off until a Sept. 9 home match against San Jose.