Toronto FC’s comeback wasn’t enough, as they suffered a ninth consecutive defeat against Montreal

Toronto FC’s decline continued on Sunday with a 3-2 MLS loss to Montreal that showed some good but more bad.

Mathieu Choignier scored twice for Montreal as Toronto suffered its ninth straight loss in all competitions.

The good thing for Toronto was the return in the second half, as Lorenzo Insigne provided a spark from the bench and his Italian colleague Federico Bernardeschi scored two wonderful goals, the second goal came in stoppage time.

The bad thing was the first half which saw TFC booed off the field trailing 2-0 and without a shot on goal.

Interim coach Terry Danfield continues to wait for his first victory after seven consecutive defeats at the helm. But he saw some positives.

“If we can avoid some mistakes, there has been really great football at times,” he said. “I think after the break in the first half, when we reorganised, the team showed some flexibility in the second half which was great.”

Toronto (3-12-10) are now winless in 12 games (0-9-3) and have only one win in their last 18 games (1-13-4) in all competitions.

Montreal (10-12-2) collected just five of a possible 36 points on the road heading into the game but looked like they had a world-class edge over the hosts at half-time. It was a welcome three points for Montreal, who had won just one of their previous seven matches (1-4-2) in all competitions.

Toronto’s lead in the second half was essentially halted when fullback Raul Petretta was sent off in the 77th minute for fouling Lassi Lapalainen in the box with Montreal going into a three-on-one break.

Choinier beat Thomas Romero from the penalty spot to end the tragedy. This was his fourth goal this season.

“I’m upset with our fans that we couldn’t go after it with 11 men. But I don’t think that deters us,” Donfield said. It would have been nice if we had five more minutes, even with 10 players.”

Montreal outscored Toronto 12-10 (6-3 on shots on goal).

Toronto had more of the ball in the first 10 minutes on Sunday but then found themselves in a vulnerable position as Montreal took control and took a 2-0 lead with an 18th-minute goal from Choinier and a 25th-minute own goal from Aime Mbika.

Canadian striker Jules Anthony Felcent, who started for the first time in Major League Soccer, was heavily involved in both goals. But after an impressive start, the 20-year-old went off injured in the 37th minute.

Montreal took the lead on their first shot on goal. A long pass reached Felcent, who shot a ball from outside the penalty area that hit the post and then bounced off Romero’s back. The rebound eventually bounced forward and Choinier beat linebacker Brandon Cervania to put it up front.

Toronto pushed for a foul seven minutes later.

After Romero’s weak goal kick went straight back in his direction, Vilssan’s shot was saved by Romero’s diving but the rebound went off Mabika as he was trying to beat Kwadwo Opoku to the ball.

It could have been 3-0 in the 40th minute but Bryce Duke’s header hit the crossbar.

Insigne, who has been sidelined with injury since July 1, entered the game to cheers in the 60th minute alongside veteran striker CJ Sabong.

Bernardeschi scored a stunning goal from distance in the 66th minute to make it 2-1. After receiving a pass from Insigne, Bernardeschi curled a shot into the top corner of the goal to end Toronto’s 685-minute goal drought.

It was Bernardeschi’s first goal since April 1st. He now has five goals this season.

Toronto hasn’t scored since June 24 when Deandre Kerr scored in a 2-1 loss against New England which marked Bob Bradley’s last game as head coach and athletic director.

TFC, who won 13-0 in July on a six-game losing streak, haven’t won since a May 27, 2-1 decision over home side DC United.

Montreal has now won four in a row over Toronto and is 6-1-0 in its last seven league meetings. Toronto has already lost twice to Montreal this season, being beaten 2-1 on May 9 at BMO Field in the Canadian Championship and 2-0 on May 13 in a league match at Saputo Stadium.

Captain Michael Bradley, son of Bob, returned to Toronto’s starting lineup after a lengthy injury layoff while there was a first start for newly acquired forward Prince Owusu. The German showed flashes of what he had to offer but was almost no favour.

After the match, Owusu revealed that something was wrong with him.

South African international striker Kassius Maylola, another new signing, was sat on the bench but did not watch a match.

The 36-year-old Bradley last played on April 8 and has missed the last 20 matches in all competitions due to a hamstring injury that required surgery. Perhaps understandably, he looked rusty and was substituted at half-time in what Donfield said was a planned move.

Romero started in goal with No. 1 Shawn Johnson out with a broken hand and No. 3 Greg Ranjitsingh out of action with a lower body injury. Luca Gafran served as a backup.

TFC were also missing injured defender Cristian Gutierrez, midfielder Latif Blessing and forward Adama Diomandé.

The Montreal team missed out on Honduras international striker Romel Coiotto (hamstring).


The two teams will return to the stadiums next Saturday, when Toronto visits Columbus and Montreal hosts New England.