TFC look to keep pressure high in rematch with Impact in MLS playoff game

TFC look to keep pressure high in rematch with Impact in MLS playoff game

Main pic: Montreal Impact’s Didier Drogba celebrates after beating Toronto FC in an MLS soccer game in Montreal, Sunday, October 25, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

MONTREAL — A weak start to the second half cost Toronto FC the chance to play their first MLS post-season game at home.

Ahead 1-0 on a Jozy Altidore goal at the intermission, the Toronto defence was burned by two quick Didier Drogba goals in the 54th minute in a 2-1 loss in the regular season finale on Sunday.

“We started the second half a bit passive,” said TFC coach Greg Vanney. “We were sitting in too much and they were able to switch the ball too easily from side to side and open us up.

“There were 10 or 15 minutes where we were late to everything. They took two chances. We were fortunate I think not to take another. When were were more aggressive again we found some chances.”

Montreal had an 11-4 advantage in shots on target, but TFC missed some glittering chances, including a shot off by the crossbar by Michael Bradley in the 74th minute.

The loss saw TFC drop to sixth place while Montreal jumped to third.

In the single-game knockout round, Montreal will play host to TFC on Thursday while fourth place D.C. United faces fifth place New England. The winners advance to the semifinals, where teams play two-game, aggregate goals series.

It will be Toronto’s first playoff game in nine MLS seasons. Vanney has only a few days to prepare his side for the rematch at hostile Saputo Stadium.

“Our solution to that is we need to continue to get pressure to the ball and step forward,” he said. “They’re a good team and if you’re going to be reactive, they have guys that can hurt you.

“Drogba’s a guy that if you give him chances he’s going to score and we didn’t position ourselves well in that stretch.”

Toronto beat Montreal twice at home this season.

Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press

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