Alejandro Pozuelo scored from the penalty spot, and that's all visiting Toronto FC needed to continue their perfect restart of the MLS season and extend their franchise-long unbeaten stretch with an 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact on Friday night.
The goal was Pozuelo's first since the opening day of the season for Toronto (5-0-3, 18 points), which has now gone unbeaten in its last 18 league matches dating back to 2019. Both of Pozuelo's goals this season have come from the penalty spot, but the Spaniard has also contributed seven assists so far this campaign.
The Reds have now moved into first in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Columbus, which plays Saturday.
Quentin Westberg needed only one save to keep his third consecutive clean sheet in a tight and scrappy affair, in stark contrast to the teams' previous meeting, a 4-3 Toronto win back on July 16 at the MLS is Back Tournament.
Toronto has won all three of those games, all coming since Phase 1 of the MLS regular season resumed earlier this month. Meanwhile, Montreal (3-3-1, 10 points) conceded its first league goal in 232 minutes.
Pozuelo put Toronto ahead five minutes after halftime, from a penalty kick he helped draw when he slid a pass to Pablo Piatti on the right side of the penalty area. Goalkeeper Clement Diop charged and blocked Piatti's shot, but it redirected off Emanuel Maciel's extended arm, and referee David Gantar pointed toward the spot, ruling a handball.
Pozuelo stepped up and struck his penalty into the bottom right corner past Diop, who remained rooted to the ground.
Pozuelo was again at the heart of attacking moves that should've seen Toronto quickly double its lead. But Piatti fired high in the 55th minute and Marco Delgado added a near-identical miss a minute later.
Montreal briefly thought they'd leveled the match in the when Romell Quioto put away Maciel's throughball about 20 minutes later, but Quioto was ruled offside.
The same fate befell Toronto's Nick DeLeon before halftime, when he headed in Auro's cross from the right, only to be ruled in an illegal position following a video review.