Montreal down MLS Cup champs Toronto

Los Angeles (AFP) – The Montreal Impact notched their first win of the Major League Soccer season on Saturday, knocking off MLS Cup champions Toronto FC 1-0 in a cross-Canadian clash.

Impact newcomer Jeisson Vargas struck with a deflected finish past Toronto keeper Alex Bono minutes before halftime.

The narrow lead stood up despite pressure from Toronto, which advanced to the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals this week but have lost both starts so far in the fledgling MLS season.

For Montreal, it was a first win under new coach Remi Garde in their first home contest of the season.

“It has a special taste,” Garde said. “We are mostly happy because we have taken three points and we played a pretty good game overall.

“We did not give them many opportunities, we remained organized and patient, while creating a few scoring chances for ourselves.”

Toronto came close to equalizing in the 84th when Jozy Altidore freed himself in Montreal’s box and only had Montreal keeper Evan Bush to beat.

Bush parried the shot, but it still looked set to trickle in before Michael Petrasso cleared it off the line.

“It happened so fast, I just saw it go past him,” Petrasso said. “My first instinct was to keep it out and just kick it anywhere but in the goal. It feels good to win against Toronto.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, New York City FC scored twice in the second half in a 2-0 victory over Orlando City at Yankee Stadium.

Ismael Tajouri pounced on a sloppy Joe Bendik pass for the opening goal in the 62nd minute and Maximiliano Moralez added the insurance goal 12 minutes later as NYCFC notched their third win in as many matches despite the absence of Spanish star David Villa.

The Philadelphia Union and Columbus Crew played to a goal-less draw that saw each team avoid a first defeat of the season.

The Minnesota United won their home opener, downing the Chicago Fire 2-1.

Sam Nicholson headed in the game-winner off a cross from Ethan Finlay. Ibson had put Minnesota ahead in the 55th minute when he slotted home his own rebound for his first MLS goal.

Elliot Collier grabbed an equalizer for Chicago, who were without Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German midfielder, whose wife is expecting a baby, didn’t make the trip.

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