If anyone was going to spoil Toronto FC’s fun, it had to be Montreal.
The Impact came to town on Wednesday night on the heels of four losses, a string of defeats that began when the rivals met in late August for the first time this season.
Since then, the Reds’ stock continued to soar, becoming the first time to clinch a playoff berth, as Montreal’s plummeted. A win mid-week would guarantee Toronto a bye through the first round of the playoffs, giving the team a chance to guarantee the Supporters’ Shield against the New England Revolution on Saturday, the earliest clinch in Major League Soccer history.
On paper, it was a David-versus-Goliath match between two teams that sat 26 points apart in the standings.
But rivalry matches are rarely predictable and Wednesday night’s was no exception: the downtrodden Impact put three goals past the league leaders in the opening 24 minutes, on its way to a 5-3 victory over Toronto FC.