Toronto Reds roll past Montreal 4-0, into Canadian Championship final

·2 min read

TORONTO — Ayo Akinola scored twice while Jesus Jimenez and Alejandro Pozuelo also had goals as Toronto FC cruised past CF Montreal 4-0 at BMO Field on Wednesday to advance to the 2022 Canadian Championship Final while eliminating the 2021 champions.

Akinola opened the scoring in the 40th minute for the Reds, when he was on the finishing end of a three-touch play toward the goal initiated by Jimenez. The forward found Luca Petrasso on his left side. Petrasso passed the ball across to Akinola, who easily beat Montreal goalkeeper James Pantemis for the 1-0 lead.

TFC had several chances before Akinola’s first goal.

Jayden Nelson nearly opened the scoring for Toronto FC in the opening minute when he broke clear of Montreal’s defence and put his right-footed shot from outside the box off the far post. He also had a shot late in the opening half.

Montreal’s best chance to score in the opening half came in the 20th minute as Montreal captain Samuel Piette’s chance from inside the box was blocked by a TFC defender just in front of the goal.

Toronto FC led in shots, 7-2, in the first half, although Montreal had 57 per cent of the ball possession.

In the second half, Montreal made two substitutions to put on an attacking formation, but were caught on the wrong end of a turnover while pressing for an equalizer. Pozuelo took the ball up the field and found Akinola, whose shot from the centre of the box went off the bar and into the back of the goal in the 54th minute.

Montreal had a shot on goal five minutes later. Second-half substitute Kei Kamara had a shot from inside the box that was punched out by Toronto FC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg.

Jimenez scored in the 75th minute when Toronto FC’s corner kick opportunity bounced off Pantemis, leaving an easy tap-in for the TFC forward.

Pozuelo scored three minutes later and made it 4-0 TFC, when he went to the net with ease and fired a ball past Pantemis.

Toronto FC is one win away from claiming a record ninth Canadian Championship. They picked up their eighth title earlier this month by winning the two-year-delayed 2020 Canadian Championship. TFC will take on the winner of Wednesday's other semifinal between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Canadian Premier League-team York United FC. The championship is scheduled to take place in July.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2022

David Alter, The Canadian Press

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