After giving up late two-goal leads in consecutive matches, Toronto FC finally put together a complete performance in a 3-0 thrashing of rivals Montreal Impact on Wednesday night
Talk about being a poor houseguest.
Toronto FC ruined what was supposed to be a welcoming party for Montreal Impact designated player Marco Di Vaio on Wednesday night when the Reds ran roughshod at Stade Saputo to the tune of a 3-0 scoreline.
It was only the second league win of the season for Paul Mariner's beleaguered side, powered by a second half in which TFC seemingly did everything right in notching goal after goal on one end while keeping a clean sheet at the other.
"It’s a spectacular performance by us," Mariner said after the match. "The reason why we won this game is that nobody had a bad game tonight. And I’m not just talking about the starting 11, I’m talking about the whole group, everyone that came on."
The new head coach, in charge of his fourth game following the dismissal of former boss Aron Winter earlier this month, watched his team scrap and claw its way through a disjointed first half before piling it on in the closing 45 minutes.
Mariner said that the improvement is down to his players slowly coming around and learning the new tactical focus that he's attempted to implement since taking over.
"We changed our system and we were focused on the task at hand," he explained. "We started understanding the system a little bit more."
Whatever the reason, the team was clearly playing with more confidence than in past weeks, when unlucky bounces and mental gaffes led to frequent late game collapses.
"Everything fell our way tonight," said striker Ryan Johnson, who scored for the second consecutive game after a prolongued drought in MLS play. "We scored the goals at the right time and that was the difference tonight. We didn’t give up any clear chances to them. You can’t lose if you get a clean sheet, and I’m proud about that."
Danny Koevermans, who notched the final goal of the night and is in the midst of a torrid six-goals-in-seven-games run of form, said that his team's ability to keep Montreal off the scoresheet was the difference on Wednesday.
"We defended as a team," Koevermans said. "For the defence and the goalkeeper, it’s massive to get the clean sheet. I feel great about it."