Marco Di Vaio of the Impact pulls away from a TFC defender during Saturday's 2-1 victory over the Reds at Montreal. (Ben Pelosse/QMI Agency)
Pointed words, pushing, shoving, controversial penalties: Everything you’d expect in just the second year of the 401 Derby.
The only item not in question Saturday afternoon at the dilapidated Olympic Stadium was, in fact, the result.
In the end, a two-goal hole Toronto FC dug itself before the break was, as head coach Ryan Nelsen poetically put it, too big a mountain to climb, even after Robert Earnshaw converted a controversial second-half penalty to cut the Montreal Impact’s lead to 2-1.
But the Reds couldn’t conjure up a thing after that, sending the home side to its third win in as many games — and leaving TFC a bit humbled following last weekend’s surprise win over Sporting Kansas City.
“We’re learning all the time,” Nelsen said. “I thought a majority of the team really stood up today. But, you’re right, we’ve got to throw in 90-minute performances week in and week out. That’s what we’re striving to do. Forty-five minutes isn’t good enough.”