• Thursday Jun 18, 2009

    De Rosario scores three, Toronto beats Montreal 6-1 to clinch Champions League berth

    MONTREAL - Dwayne De Rosario scored three goals and Toronto FC defeated the Montreal Impact 6-1 on Thursday to win the Nutlite Canadian Championship and a berth in next year's CONCACAF Champions League.

    Toronto, which had only won one game by four goals in its history, needed a four-goal victory at Montreal or hand the title to the second-division Vancouver Whitecaps and miss out on the Champions League for a second straight year.

    Second-half substitute Chad Barrett headed home an Amado Guevara corner kick in the 82nd minute to put Toronto ahead 5-1 and score the decisive goal that gave Major League Soccer a fifth and the final entrant in the 24-team Champions League.

    De Rosario's three goals came in a 20-minute span and Honduran international Amado Guevara added a pair to edge the Whitecaps on goal difference for the title

    "We showed tonight we've got something special building at the club," interim Toronto coach Chris Cummins said. "We're not going to rest on it, we're really going to kick off from this.

    The Impact, last year's Canadian representative and semifinalists in last season's Champions League, opened the scoring in the 24th minute after striker Peter Byers was fouled by Toronto defender Nick Garcia setting up a penalty kick.

    "When they scored I looked around to every guy and not one of them had their head down," De Rosario said.

    A steady rain and slippery conditions were less than ideal, creating loose footing and uneven bounces throughout the match.

    De Rosario started Toronto's push with a dramatic bicycle kick in the 29th. Montreal goalkeeper Srdjan Djekanovic punched away a Guevara corner kick, but De Rosario, with his back to goal, pounced on the rebound with a lunging scissors kick to the delight of their hundreds of traveling supporters who had made the six- hour drive from southern Ontario.

    De Rosario next converted a Pablo Vitti cross at the top of the penalty area in the 39th, with his hard shot first deflecting off Montreal defender Elkana Mayard, then off the Montreal goal post and into the net giving Toronto a 2-1 lead.

    Three minutes into the second half, De Rosario collected a through ball, raced into the penalty area and slotted the ball past Djekanovic at point-blank range.

    In the 67th, Guevara closed the gap further, bending a free kick from just outside the penalty area over the wall and past Djekanovic to incease the lead to 4-1.

    Barrett, who entered the game to start the second half in place of Vitti, then scored the title clincher and set up an insurance tally by Guevara in the 90th.

    Barrett back-healed a cross into the path of Guevara, who volley the ball to complete the victory.

    It was the second major unraveling for the Impact who also fell apart in injury time during the second leg of their Champions League semifinal loss to Santos Laguna in March

    "When that happens twice, it's because there's a problem, there's a big lack of character on our part . . . you have to honour the city and club and tonight these players didn't," said Impact coach Marc Dos Santos.

    Toronto will host the Puerto Rico Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues First Division the Preliminary Round of the Champions League, on Tuesday, July 28 and then head to Bayamon, Puerto Rico on Tuesday, August 4 for the second leg.

    The Impact were missing four starting defenders from their lineup with Adam Braz and Cedric Joqueviel ruled out of the match due to injury while centre-back Nevio Pizzolitto was given the night off by coach Marc Desantis and defender Zanzan was on international duty with Togo's national team for a World Cup qualifier against Morocco.

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