MONTREAL – Mason Toye scored his second goal of the game in the 47th minute, ultimately giving Minnesota United FC a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo on Saturday night.
The Loons managed their first win in five MLS road games since April 6 despite the absence of Ike Opara, Ozzie Alonso and Darwin Quintero, who were rested and did not make the trip.
“I did say to the players before the game that I wanted to be talking about their performance and not having to reflect on leaving people behind and making seven changes,” coach Adrian Heath said. “The bottom line is, we had to do it. We played Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, and we’ve got another big week coming up.”
Minnesota, which hosts a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal against New Mexico United on Wednesday, has scored 13 goals during a three-game MLS winning streak, and 20 goals while winning five consecutive overall, including consecutive Open Cup victories.
Making his first start, Toye scored Minnesota’s first goal on the road since April 19, nine minutes in, to tie the score at 1-1.
Ethan Finlay drew the Loons even for the second time in the first half when he scored on a penalty kick in added time to make it 2-2. Lawrence Olum’s pass up the middle sent Finlay in alone on Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush, who was called for taking him down in the box after he got a foot on the shot.
“It was absolutely end-to-end,” Finlay said. “And anybody will tell you, when you can score a goal, or you get scored against, it’s a game-changer going into the halftime. And to come in level at 2-2 we felt really good about where we were at, and we knew we were going to continue to get chances and we talked about it at halftime.”
Toye completed his first MLS brace with his third goal in four games to give the Loons their first lead. He was replaced by Angelo Rodriguez in the 82nd minute.
“It was huge for me,” Toye said. “You don’t get many opportunities when you have a guy like Angelo in front of you, so when you do get them you’ve got to take them. So I just came in, tried to be confident and believed in myself and believed in my teammates, and I was able to put in a good performance.”
The Loons were down 1-0 just 29 seconds after the opening kickoff. Montreal’s Anthony Jackson-Hamel got behind Loons left back Brent Kallman to run down a ball deep down the right side. The Impact striker got around Kallman again before scoring with a left-foot shot.
Toye brought Minnesota level after Impact midfielder Samuel Piette turned over the ball in Montreal’s backfield. Kevin Molino, who also set up Toye’s second goal, looped a pass over the head of Impact defender Zakaria Diallo to Toye.
“I just made eye contact with Kev and he played two perfect balls to me, and all I had to do was put the ball in the goal,” Toye said.
Montreal regained its one-goal lead 13 minutes in when Rudy Camacho scored off a corner kick by Saphir Taider.
Loons goalkeeper Vito Mannone came up with some big saves, blocking Taider’s drive in the 31st minute to keep Minnesota within one before making a diving save in the 64th minute on Omar Browne. He also stopped Maximiliano Urruti in the final minute.