CF Montreal could expect to face a hungry team on Saturday night, but they put on a strong performance on the road to leave Foxborough with three points.
Alistair Johnston broke the deadlock in the second half and the Montreal troops defeated the New England Revolution by a score of 1-0 at Gillette Stadium.
While the Revolution (9-12-11) tries to get the last rank giving access to the playoffs in the Eastern Association, it is rather the men of Wilfried Nancy who offered efficient and methodical play. Their patience was rewarded in the 72nd minute, when Johnston accepted a fine pass from Romell Quioto to move the ropes.
The New England squad had very few chances and they weren’t really in the game against the Montrealers, who tied an MLS record with a sixth road victory.
With 59 points to their name, CF MTL are five points behind the Philadelphia Union and the 1er rank in the East. Both teams have two more games to play on the regular schedule.
« We may have rushed at times and maybe the last move wasn’t always there, but I think we dominated the game from the first minute to the last minute without necessarily creating big scoring chances for ourselves, analyzed midfielder Samuel Piette. We were quite threatening thanks to our crosses or by prowling near their penalty area. We knew they absolutely had to win and it was going to open up spaces. That’s what happened on Alistair’s goal. »
Even before signing this victory, CF Montreal (18-9-5) had secured second place in the East due to a defeat by the New York Red Bulls earlier on Saturday.
Despite the result of the Red Bulls game, Nancy stuck to his plan and put a starting lineup on the field that could look like the one that could hit the lawn at Stade Saputo in the first playoff game in mid-October.
“Before tonight’s game, I congratulated the players and told them that we had to keep looking up. We talked about our plan and I am very proud because the players have fun in this plan, expressed the head coach of CF Montreal. After the first half, I asked them how they felt and we made the adjustments. It’s amazing what they accomplish and it’s a pleasure for me. »
With his fourth goal of the campaign, Johnston equaled the team record for most goals scored by a defender in a season. Zachary Brault-Guillard set the record Tuesday night against the Chicago Fire.
Even though the two players may seem in competition for this position of right piston, there is a great camaraderie between them and they continue to encourage each other to take their game to another level.
« It’s a tight-knit group. As for the record, I’m just happy to say that we scored eight goals between us. When he (Zachary) scored I celebrated really hard for him and before the game he told me it was my turn to score. When I scored my goal, you could see him sprinting towards me with a big smile. We fight for minutes, but we want the best for the team,” Johnston said.
The Montreal troupe remained undefeated in its last four outings (3-0-1) and beat the Revolution for the second time in less than a month, after signing a 4-0 victory at Saputo Stadium.
The Revolution suffered a third straight loss and remained three points behind the Columbus Crew, which sits in seventh place in the East.
Midfielder Djordje Mihailovic picked up a yellow card in the 68th minute and will be suspended for the next game due to an accumulation of cards.
As for Finnish midfielder Lassi Lappalainen, he once again missed a game with the Bleu-blanc-noir due to an adductor injury. Nancy, however, mentioned earlier this week that he was close to a return to action.
CF Montreal will return to action in two weeks, following an international break. He will host DC United at his home on October 1.
CF Montreal does its job
The Montrealers had an excuse to put on a more timid show in the first half, but the Revolution didn’t play like a team that absolutely had to win to stay in the thick of the fight in the East.
The home side’s best chance came in the 12th minute, when Matt Polster fired a low shot that Sebastian Breza blocked by diving to his left.
Meanwhile, the Montreal squad played their defensive style and didn’t let their opponent get close to Breza’s net. Except at the start of the second half. Justin Rennicks thought he had opened the scoring, but after sending the ball into the net, the official raised the flag to show he was offside.
Attacks were unthreatening until CF Montreal hit the mark. Kamal Miller made a nice sliding tackle and the ball was picked up by a teammate. After a long pass in the direction of Quioto, the Honduran made a precise delivery towards Johnston, who did not miss this golden opportunity.
The Bleu-blanc-noir then closed the game defensively to confirm their victory.