Canadian Championship | CF Montreal qualified for the final thanks to an unexpected victory

When Wilfried Nancy announced that he would give Sebastian Breza the mandate to protect CF Montreal’s nets in Canadian Championship games, he never suspected he would need him to score a decisive goal in this event. classic. However, that is exactly what happened.

Michel Lamarche
The Canadian Press

Breza ended a thrilling penalty shootout by beating rival Triston Henry in the 11e round, and CF Montreal earned their ticket to the final with an 8-7 shootout victory over Forge FC on Wednesday night at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton.

The two teams had completed the regulatory 90 minutes with a score of 0-0.

Thanks to this not necessarily convincing victory, the Montreal team will face the winner of the duel between Toronto FC and Pacific FC, another team of the Canadian Premier League. This game will take place next Wednesday in Toronto.

The date of the final is not yet known.

Just before he ended this spectacular session with a low shot to Henry’s right, Breza had blocked his rival’s attempt.

In a press video conference, Breza said he had already experienced a similar situation.

“It happened to me in U12. I don’t know if that matters! », He launched, deadpan, before adding that he had hit the target on this occasion.

Always so relaxed, Breza admitted that he didn’t have a precise strategy in his mind before taking his shot.

“I just wanted to come home!  »

“Seriously, of course I wanted to score to finish the shootout, to win and go to the final, but a strategy, not really. As you know, goalkeepers, we don’t shoot a penalty often. It’s a bit of the unexpected when it happens.  »

In addition to scoring the winning net, Breza was by far CF Montreal’s best player, blocking Forge FC’s five shots on target during regulation time.

The locals have also formed the best team on the field, attempting 14 shots including nine in the second half.

CF Montreal were limited to five shots attempted and only two on target for Henry. From the 18e minute, Nancy’s troop directed only one shot, which missed the target.

“The opponent played well. We have not been able to find the necessary resources to do better tonight, ”admitted Nancy.

“I still want to congratulate the guys because it was not easy to play this game since I had changed the team. But I’m very happy for the guys who played because we made it to the final.  »

Much like he did in September against the HFX Wanderers in Halifax, the CF Montreal head coach has left several of his regular players on the sidelines.

Thus, Djordje Mihailovic, Joaquin Torres and defender Kamal Miller, were not in uniform. This was also the case for Quebecer Mathieu Choinière, while in the Forge camp, his brother David started the match on the sidelines before jumping into the fray in the 74e minute.

Despite these sizeable absences, which were added to the injured Romell Quioto, Victor Wanyama and Mason Toye, Nancy assured that he was confident that the chosen players would lead his troops to victory.

Also, he certified that the organization’s objective is to go as far as possible, both in MLS and in the Canadian Championships.

“Of course there are regular players who play a lot of games, but I had complete confidence in the team I put on today,” said Nancy.

“We didn’t have a lot of chances, but (the players) found the necessary resources to go to the final. So, objective achieved despite the fact that the content was not very interesting tonight, indeed. But I’m happy to make it to the final because we want to go as far as possible on both counts.  »


After an unspectacular first half, in which both teams each had two good chances to score, the Forge FC players completely dominated the first 20 minutes of the second half.

They were incisive to the point of directing six balls towards the net of Breza, including two that the goalkeeper of CF Montreal rejected.

From the 67e minute, the Montrealers managed to slow down the ardor of their tough opponents without threatening Henry’s net.

The thrilling round of shootout took spectators, and arguably players from both teams, on a roller coaster ride.

CF Montreal led after the first shot before losing that lead on the next opportunity when Bjorn Johnsen hit the horizontal rod.

Breza stopped the sixth shot, that of ex-Impact Omar Browne, giving Samuel Piette the chance to play the hero. But, in turn, Piette was frustrated with Henry.

From that point on, the two sides exchanged four goals until we started the 11e round.

“I had no idea I should shoot. In fact, I had no idea their keeper should shoot too. I thought he was called in because he had a good shot, ”said Breza.

“But when I saw that no one on my team was advancing, I realized that everyone had shot. So I was like, “sure if that’s what I have to do”.  »

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