Vaughan, ON - Toronto FC II came away with a point against FC Montreal despite going down a man late at the Ontario Soccer Centre.
FC Montreal opened the scoring in the 55th minute after some good work from Alessandro Riggi on the left flank. He received the ball deep on the wing and cut back onto his favoured right foot. His cross was whipped in along the six yard line and met on the volley by a lunging Anthony Jackson-Hamel for his first of the season.
Toronto's equalizer came late and off the forehead of Liam Fraser. Luca Uccello floated a free kick across the centre of the box and Fraser was able to shrug off his defender and stoop down to send the ball into the bottom left corner. It was his first professional goal and, more importantly, gave TFC II a share of the points.
The Young Reds came out strong in the first half, maintaining a defensively responsible shape without the ball, and utilizing their pace in behind the Montreal defence when breaking forward. Sal Bernal was lively down the right wing, linking with the rapidly maturing Shaan Hundal well.
Fraser and Uccello were being given the time and space to dictate the play, repeatedly setting the wide players free, including a particularly gilt-edged chance 15 minutes in. Fraser had set Bernal free and Maxime Crepeau had raced out of the Montreal goal in an effort to shut him down. Bernal got his foot to it and beat the keeper, but the ball bounced just wide of the right post.
Crepeau kept his team in the competition throughout the game, including an important stop on a sliding Uccello just before half time, and blocking the shot of debutant Ayo Akinola, late in second half injury time to preserve the draw.
TFC II were forced to play with 10-men from the 82nd minute on, after Jobe saw a second yellow card for blocking off the run of Aron Mkungilwa. The hometown club didn't let their heads drop, however, and battle on to level the game and keep up the momentum ahead of a tough two game road trip.
Jason Bent was frank following the game.
“We have to put teams away” the TFC II head coach said. “From our perspective we definitely dropped two points, but we showed great character at the end to fight through and get a point”
TFC II are back in action on Sunday June 18th when they travel to Nippert Stadium to take on high-flying FC Cincinnati. Catch the livestream from 7:00pm on tfc2.ca
FCM - Anthony Jackson-Hamel (55) TFC II – Liam Fraser (90)
TFC II - Bubacarr Jobe (50, 82), Skylar Thomas (68), Anthony Osorio (71), FCM – David Choiniere (83)
Toronto FC II: Alex Bono, Bubacarr Jobe, Mitchell Taintor Clement Simonin, 45), Skylar Thomas (c), Anthony Osorio (Robert Boskovic 88), Luca Uccello, Brian James (Aidan Daniels 71), Liam Fraser, Malik Johnson (Raheem Edwards 59), Sal Bernal, Shaan Hundal (Ayo Akinola 79)
FC Montreal: Maxime Crepeau, Simon Lemire (Zakary Sukunda 6), Thomas Meilleur-Giguere, Janouk Charbonneau, Aron Mkungilwa, Marco Dominguez (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 44), Louis Beland-Goyette (c), Mastanabal Kacher (Nevello Yoseke 83), Alessandro Riggi (Phillipe Joseph 78)