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2016 MLS Eastern Conference Final - Impact vs TFC

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What a fantastic series. There was a delightful naivety to the whole thing that made it compelling and superbly entertaining. In many ways, it was just honest football, the way it ought to be played.

And have there ever been more momentum shifts in a two-game tie? Montreal 3-0 up and cruising to victory. TFC back to 3-2 with all the momentum and the home leg to come. Montreal score first in Toronto to snatch back the momentum and lead by two on aggregate. TFC score twice to grab back the momentum and lead on away goals. They just have to see it out now, but no, Montreal score and are now going through on aggregate, and have the crucial second away goal, so TFC must now score twice to win. Then TFC equalize to make it all square on aggregate and away goals, and set up extra time -- and it is anybody's game. WHEW!!!

Such a refreshing change from the cynical efficiency of the top European teams. Well done Montreal and TFC; you made us proud!

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It was certainly  a strange, unpredictable  game. Three TFC goals off corner kicks? Five TFC goals  without Giovinco getting one?  A TFC win with their midfield, especially Bradley, getting outplayed again? Winning goal scored a minute after Giovinco is subbed off injured, scored by Cheyrou on a left foot Beitashour cross? A ref that was blind for both teams?

Well, I guess the last one of these was predictable

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2 hours ago, yomurphy1 said:

Most important point from tonight....

Wasn't Oduro offside on Piatti's goal?

Yes it was offside, but I really don't think that was the most important point from tonight!

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As an Impact fan I'd like to congratulate all the TFC fans on their clubs well deserved win tonight and best of luck in the championship match. It was a very entertaining series which gave me a few more gray hairs and almost a heart attack. Both teams put on a good show for the league. When the final whistle blew all I could do was applaud the performance both teams gave us. 

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36000 frenzied fans, real grass, two Canadian teams. What more could we ask for? I bet this will gain the game quite a few more fans. It was thrilling, positive football.

 

Edited by hectorj

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13 minutes ago, Macksam said:

He technically didn't put it in.

Didn't he make himself active by interfering with the defender covering behind Irwin?  That's what I first thought after I saw the replay.  I'm not a certified ref so I am interested in what others think.

As for the match, that was a terrific game from any perspective, neutral or hardcore supporter.  The beat writer for ESPN online went so far as to say it may have been the best playoff game in MLS history.

 

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7 hours ago, BearcatSA said:

Didn't he make himself active by interfering with the defender covering behind Irwin?  That's what I first thought after I saw the replay.  I'm not a certified ref so I am interested in what others think.

 

I think the ball was played by TFC defender, not Piatti. 

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7 hours ago, Moldy9 said:

Impact all season long were inept from defending crosses in the box and corner kicks. It's no surprise this was their demise. 

Why was there nobody defending the near post on the second goal?  No wonder Giovinco was just standing there in disbelief in the aftermath.

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Just some random thoughts on last night's game:

1.  What a game!  Woke my new born daughter up every time TFC scored.  Wife was not impressed.

2.  As mentioned above, on Montreal's second goal I was wondering what the rule is on a player standing in an offside position that does not touch the ball but prevents a defender from reaching it.

3.  Ricketts continues to cement his position as TFC's Ole Gunnar Slolskjaer with another super sub goal.  That being said, he had a number of great opportunities that he did not capitalize on (his pass across the front of the net that the Ciman stopped and the pass he received from Giovinco).  I love the guy because he can't stop scoring but these games have shown that the skill difference between Ricketts and Giovinco/healthy Altidore is significant, which is a bit depressing for our national team.  However, that little head on flick that he gave to Osorio was pretty class.

4.  During the end game celebrations, it was interesting to see how many players who had played significant minutes during the regular season were no longer on the game day roster (Chapman, Delgado, Babouli, Hamilton).  I guess it shows how much TFC improved their depth with the additions of Cooper and Ricketts.

5.  Much like others, my first reaction on Altidore's goal was "Where was the near post defender?"  Then I wondered if that was something that only rec league team's like the ones I play on do and isn't something that pro teams need, but I don't think that's necessarily true either.

Edited by AvroArrow

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47 minutes ago, aloyol said:

I think the ball was played by TFC defender, not Piatti. 

The ball deflected off Hagglund but I'd say it wasn't an intentional play that merited the offside being removed.

 

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Montreal played above their level in these playoffs and Toronto advancing was nearly inevitable given the talent gap between the teams at the high end, but I'm still disappointed in the result and I probably won't be able to bring myself to cheer for TFC in the final (at least until Ricketts gets on the pitch).

I am happy for the Toronto fans who have been there since day 1. As a fan of Winnipeg sports, and obviously the Canadian national teams, I know how hard it is to stay excited about teams that offer you next to nothing in terms of winning. Moments like these should be cherished, as you never know when they'll come again (although I don't expect TFC will stop being the league's biggest spender so they should be fine for a while).

I hope that wasn't Bernier's last game, but if it was the memory of him owning Bradley on that first Montreal goal is a positive one. What a shame that he has only played a handful of games for our national team since 2010.

Edited by jonovision

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I was so excited when Bernier beat Bradley up for that first goal. I had been dreaming about that. 

Sad to see Bernier at the end. He looked destroyed.

21 minutes ago, jonovision said:

I'm still disappointed in the result and I probably won't be able to bring myself to cheer for TFC in the final.

It will be a little hard for me to, but having a Canadian team win the cup will entirely be worth it. I was frustrated as I saw TFC replace Canadians for Canadians, as if having more than one Canadian on the field would be a disaster. Than they brought on Ricketts and he changed the game. Made some mistakes, as you tend to expect with him, but was better than anything Montreal could bring on and pushed the Montreal defenders deep, giving TFC more space.

I thought Will Johnson had a solid game and it was nice to see Osorio on the field. 

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Vanney has done a nice job of giving Canadians playing time since he took over at TFC, however, in a game like last night you put whatever player you think can do the job for you regardless if he is Canadian or if he is from the moon and saying all that he still managed to have three Canadians in some parts of the game last night. What should be talked about but it seems like it might be the elephant in the room kind of thing is how the heck a guy like Bernier has   so few caps for Canada over the years but guys that have spent their entire careers in the 4th divisions of European leagues have so much more caps then I guy like Bernier oh ya I know lets blame the Americans and the MLS for that! Ya we have so much talented players here in Canada that a guy like Bernier could hardly have a cup of coffee with the national team over the years and we wonder why we are where we are with our national team, not saying Bernier would have gotten us to the Hex over the years but you wonder how the hell he was not called in a lot more over these other 4th. division type players playing in Europe.

Edited by 1996

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32 minutes ago, Levi Oakey said:

It will be a little hard for me to, but having a Canadian team win the cup will entirely be worth it. I was frustrated as I saw TFC replace Canadians for Canadians, as if having more than one Canadian on the field would be a disaster. 

I imagine a Ricketts and Osorio swap for Johnson and Cooper was going to come on the field at some point and the score would dictate who came off first.  Since they needed goals, the Rickets for Johnson sub happened.  If they needed to defend, then maybe Ricketts or Osorio come in for Cooper and Johnson stays on the field.

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Yeah it was one Canadian who came off, and unless you wanted...Bradley (lol), Altidore (hahahaha), or Giovinco (Michael Jordan laughing gif) coming off I'm not sure who else was supposed to go there.

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12 hours ago, Macksam said:

He technically didn't put it in.

He didn't have to put it in to be called for offside. He was in an offside position (two yards!) at the moment the ball was played forward to Piatti and clearly interfered with play when he physically blocked the TFC defender from clearing the ball.

You won't ever see a more obvious offside.

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I didn't get to watch the game (other than the dying minutes) but can say that:

i) I'm thrilled to read the rave reviews that Ricketts is finally getting, after the (unfair) beating he's taken over the past year or so.

ii) Sad to see Bernier at the end. He has quietly (it seems) put together a terrific career and is another one who rarely seemed to get the credit he deserved (especially at the club level).

iii) Man, if Vanney had another 7 years of experience behind him, I would love to include him in our CMNT coaching search. Love the way he prepares for an opponent and adjust during games (recurring themes with him).

Edited by David C.

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