Vancouver, Canada — The Vancouver Whitecaps mathematically couldn’t quality for the Canadian Championship. It was either between the Montreal Impact or Toronto FC. However, that didn’t mean that Montreal couldn’t have a little bit of fun. Even striker Fredy Montero wanted to get in on the fun.
It was the punch heard around the world — or at least in Canada.
Montero, who was featuring in his first competitive match since March, fell down like a stack of bricks. No, it wasn’t a sliding tackle. No, it wasn’t even a foul worth embellishing. However, that’s what Montero did.
Rudy Camacho, a veteran Montreal Impact defender, punched Montero in the knee, after the Impact defender was fouled. There’s no other way to put it: Camacho lost his cool and couldn’t keep his composure. And, for Montero, it was the perfect opportunity to flash his acting skills.
🚨 RED CARD
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) September 17, 2020
Montero hit the ground and the trainers even came over for treatment. However, seconds later, Montero was up, jogging over to the penalty marker and setting the ball up for a penalty kick. Camacho was sent off the pitch by referee Drew Fischer on a straight red card in the 37th minute.
It all went downhill for Montreal from there. Montero scored the penalty kick against goalkeeper Clement Diop. Then, three minutes later, Cristian Dájome tapped in a second goal.
At halftime, Impact manager Thierry Henry didn’t even try to contain his frustration.
"There's no comment on that… We punish ourselves once again."
— 𝗥𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗲𝗹 𝗞𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗲𝗿 (@RachaelKriger) September 17, 2020
Montreal was able to pull one back, despite being down a man. Romell Quioto, the wonder striker in Montreal, twisted his way in the box and let lose a shot past Thomas Hasal. However, the Whitecaps didn’t stay quiet for long, as Montero earned a brace with a second goal in the 78th minute, just eight minutes after Quioto’s goal.
Canadian Championship implications
With the 3-1 victory by Vancouver, the Montreal Impact have bowed out of contention for the Canadian Championship. Instead, Toronto will head to the tournament, which will decide a spot in the Concacaf Champions League.
Now, Toronto FC will await their opponent, which will be a club from the Canadian Premier League. Toronto finished with 12 points, while the Impact sat in second place with nine points. Vancouver, despite the win, was last of the three Canadian teams, with only six points.
All three teams will continue MLS play and await a more detailed schedule. Below are the next slew of matches for all three Canadian teams in MLS.
- D.C. United will host Toronto FC on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST at Audi Field.
- Real Salt Lake will host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. EST at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- The Montreal Impact will host the Philadelphia Union on Sunday at 7 p.m. EST at Red Bull Arena, a neutral venue for both sides.