Montreal Impact Vs Toronto FC: 3 things we learned – Welcome, Ayo Akinola

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REUNION, FLORIDA – JULY 16: Richie Laryea #22 of Toronto FC celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the 8th minute against the Montreal Impact during a Group C match as part of the MLS Is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on July 16, 2020 in Reunion, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

On Thursday night, Toronto FC squeezed past the Montreal Impact as Ayo Akinola scored another brace. Here are three things we learned from the 4-3 win.

Toronto FC just about held on against the Montreal Impact on Thursday night. After a bonkers first half which saw five goals in total, Greg Vanney’s side saw out the second half, despite some late panic after Saphir Taider’s second penalty of the night.

The hero was Ayo Akinola, who notched a hat-trick, bringing his goal tally for the tournament to a league-leading five. Meanwhile, Alejandro Pozuelo provided three assists in a brilliant display of offensive creativity.

Here are three things we learned from Toronto FC’s 4-3 win over the Montreal Impact.

REUNION, FLORIDA – JULY 16: Ayo Akinola #20 of Toronto FC celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the 25th minute during a Group C match against the Montreal Impact as part of the MLS Is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on July 16, 2020 in Reunion, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

3. Alejandro Pozuelo can win MVP

Alejandro Pozuelo enjoyed a brilliant first season as Toronto FC’s star attacking midfielder. However, after playing half a season in Belgium and then immediately playing a full season with Toronto, the Spaniard hardly had a rest for 18 months and looked visibly tired later in the campaign. His performances were a little inconsistent as a result.

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In 2020, then, with an offseason to rest and recover, Pozuelo now looks back to his very best, and it could lead him to challenge for MVP honours. On this occasion, Pozuelo provided a hat-trick of assists in the first half. He now has one goal and five assists in four appearances this season and is the creative heartbeat of one of the best teams in the division.

With Carlos Vela missing the tournament, Josef Martinez out for the season with ACL tear, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic having departed in the summer, Pozuelo might be the leading the candidate for the award. And based on his supreme performance here, he might just win it.

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