South Barstool Report – Montreal v Toronto
Decision Day. I appreciate the hype, but this feels like going to a chain restaurant, and being told to get excited about the appetizers. Sorry, I don’t care if you’re branding it Zesty Jally Bites, it’s still going to be a jalapeno popper.
To make it clear, play-offs are the main course, this is just the over priced appetizer served with a house asian slaw. Giving it a hashtag makes it seem overplayed.
Anyways. It’s a beautiful fall day here in Toronto, so of course it’s a road game. I’m in a bar waiting for the wife to finish work, so the stars have weirdly aligned.
My goal for this match : figure out why Robbie Findley is a “thing”.
Onto the match!
0’ – teams coming out from one corner of the ground. Never noticed it before. Like it. Charming.
5’ – Giovinco has a go from 23 yards out and just curls wide. If he’s going to get that kind of space, he’s going to punish them. And, yes, I measured.
6’ – Findley running the wrong way with the ball
7’ – Findley playing defence sticks his leg out to block a shot, but it gets past him
10’ – Findley wide open on wing, Jackson decides to shoot instead.
12’ – Drogba free kick gets through the wall and Konopka parries it wide of the post.
14’ – Findley gets on an open ball and his first touch, pops it through to Giovinco who gets a shot off but was just offside.
18’ – bit of one-touch as Osorio, Bradley and Giovinco get the ball to the right side where Findley is, and slides a ball just too far in front of both Altidore and Giovinco.
21’ – UM02 unfurl a bedsheets and marker masterpiece of “welcome Argos to BMO”. Yes, Mr. Leiweke, it’s a joke elsewhere too. It’ll be a joke in Miami soon enough.
23’ – Findley takes the ball along the touch line, draws a throw in
25’ – corner from Montreal, Konopka punches it clear. Like, super hard.
27’ – YELLOW – Jackson is booked for taking out a runaway Oduro.
Update from out of town : Jack, Mac and Ernie have collectively scored for Columbus vs DC. Nice finish from the trio.
29’ – Altidore makes himself enough space to lay the ball back to Giovinco at the top of the box and he fires just right of Bush.
31’ – Giovinco takes on four defenders and crosses the ball into the box, finds Findley’s header, hits it straight at the keeper, but parried over the bar.
36’ – getting choppy out there. Ciman takes down Giovinco then Altidore takes out Ciman. Fun stuff. Restarted play, Giovinco takes a ball to the ants, and later Drogba gets hacked down by Bradley. Finally a derby match worth the hype!
40’ – Altidore flattens Donadel. So good. Ensuing free kick, Drogba de Guzmans the shit outta the ball.
44’ – he’s too good for this league / he’s too good for this league / he’s too good for this league / SEBA!
45’ – GOAL – Giovinco floats a looper into the box, finds Altidore, who pops it into the low corner. To be fair, Ciman was marking him, but the ball’s arc was so perfect, Ciman jumping couldn’t get to it, and Altidore had to get low to hit it properly. Just wow.
CHEESEMAKERS 0, ROBINS 1
Half time mood : pleased. They look pretty solid. No panic and playing hard.
48’ – Piatti body splashes Findley. Findley kicks out at two.
50’ – Piatti turns out Williams in the 6 yard box, but Konopka stops it.
51’ – Drogba hits the crossbar after picking Kantari’s pocket in front of the goal. I imagine everyone went “euuuuuuuuuuuuu… “
54’ – GOAL – cheeky… Piatti crosses a ball and Drogba’s leg is on a socket as he hits it from behind… Screw it. Watch the replay.
CHEESEMAKERS 1, ROBINS 1
56’ – GOAL – oh shiiiiiit… Drogba takes a cross on the outside of his foot, one touch, and hits the far corner. Holycrap…
CHEESEMAKERS 2, ROBINS 1
And. Just. Like. That. Drogba is the pinball bumper of doom. If it hits him, good luck.
58’ – and while I was typing, Piatti beat Konopka but not the crossbar.
And Columbus is now up 2-0. Orlando is losing.
63’ – Oduro beads Williams with a turn, fires wide of the far post.
65’ – Bradley goes for glory, misses.
I could go for a sub right now…
Columbus 4-0 up on DC. Hilarious.
74’ – Wow. Bradley, Giovinco, Altidore and Osorio all pull some quick touches and the final moves has Osorio near the left post and pulls back a pass to Bradley near the penalty spot and fires it off the crossbar. Heady stuff. Free kick shortly after, Giovinco threads the wall but wide of the net.
75’ – SUB – Findley off for Gomez.
75’ – SUB – Cheyrou off for Warner
77’ – Bernier comes on for Oduro. Parking the bus time.
80’ – Piatti gives Bernier the captain’s armband. Coincidently, my allergies have kicked in and my eyes are watering a little.
82’ – Drogba collapses like a house of cards from getting a tap on the foot.
85’ – Drogba is really selling that foot. After MLS, pro wrestling?
87’ – Montreal counter attack finds Drogba. Even injured he can fire a shot between two defenders closing him down.
88’ – SUB – there it is… Luke Moore is gonna save us all! He comes in for Osorio.
89’ – comically, Montreal make their last sub. Not Drogba.
4 mins of extra time
90+2’ – Altidore on goal and he blew it.
90+4’ – Konopka up for a corner and it was poorly taken. *sigh*
Full Time : Montreal 2, Toronto 1
Man of the Match : Giovinco
Goat of the Game : Williams. He wasn’t bad really, but was made to look vulnerable often
Ref Rating : 4 out of 5. From what I saw, he let a go
I Am Not The Gaffer But… : I’d probably would’ve made a knee jerk reaction to the second goal, but that wouldn’t have proven anything.
In Case You PVR’d It : watch it all. It was fun, short of the result
Findley Watch : OK, so my conclusion for this game is as follows – not entirely useless or a liability. He looks like a journeyman MLS player making a rediculous wage. In the second half, he didn’t even factor. There were times where players would choose difficult shots than simpler passes to an unmarked Findley. I’m still not sure why he starts. I’m still not sure what he brings to the side. Still willing to have someone explain to me the dynamic he provides.
That was a game of two halves. Toronto looking comfortable and controlling in the first half. Montreal waking up and keeping Toronto on the backfoot in the second. That’s one hell of a half-time talk to come out that guns ablazing… or that flat.
So our playoff adventure may not have a home date, which by my measure, this season would be a bust. Don’t get me wrong, making the playoffs is a feat, but the bar has been lowered as now 6 teams from each conference qualify instead of 5. And Toronto finished 6th. Playoffs is not really a reward for fans when there’s a possibility of not being able to experience it first hand. A home date IS a reward. It’s tangible. It’s experiential. And for the money splashed out on talent, a home date was never asking for much.
We’ve put our deposit for our TWO home games (stifiling a laugh here… I’m good, I’m good). We’ve got our season ticket renewal, complete with justified and promised increase. Everyone has their own thresholds for success and general club satisfaction. If the season ended Thursday night, how thrilled would you be?
Player Ratings : Konopka 6, Morrow 6.5, Kantari 6, Williams 5.5, Jackson 6.5, Osorio 6.5 (Moore N/A), Cheyrou 6 (Warner N/A), Bradley 6.5, Findley 6 (Gomez N/A), Giovinco 7.5, Altidore 7