Who would’ve believed that ? In their first game of the year, the Montreal squad harshly corrected the nemesis, Toronto FC, 4-2.
There has been a lot of talk in recent days: almost all observers predict the bottom at CF Montreal this season. There are 33 games left. But in his first under Wilfried Nancy, the Montreal club made their rivals look bad by offering a very solid performance.
“The guys did what they had to do, and after the score came naturally, first summed up the coach after the meeting. I wanted us to play our football; by being aggressive defensively and, with the ball, trying to attract to gain speed. I think we did it well and that’s why today I’m very happy. Yes, the score, because it’s also Toronto, but above all in the manner, with little time to prepare. I am very proud of the players. »
From the 3e minute, a blunder of the TFC, in which a player stupidly lost his footing with the ball, without even being in a hurry, opened the door to the CFM. Mason Toye, served by Zachary Brault-Guillard, took the opportunity to put Montreal on the board with a nice curled shot.
Toye, disappointing in 2020, was in better shape on Saturday.
» I’m not surprised. He came back with a really interesting state of mind. We worked with him one-on-one on how to break free because he was putting too much pressure on himself, Nancy revealed. And today he has proven that he feels good. He showed the qualities that we saw in training. »
If Toronto missed a great opportunity in the 6e minute, Montreal could have doubled its lead in the 17the on a plunged head of Mason Toye, again him. An attempt made possible following a superb opening of the game from Victor Wanyama, in the center of the field.
But it was only a postponement. At the 24e Romell Quioto beat defender Luke Singh on the wing after a long sprint, before placing the ball into the skylight at an extremely narrow angle. A spectacular achievement.
Quioto, let’s remember, was the Montreal club’s top scorer (8) and player of the year in 2020.
Then, a foul by defenseman Joel Waterman, often overwhelmed, gave Toronto a penalty shot at the end of the first half. Stopped by Clément Diop.
But, unfortunately for him, he had moved too quickly.
In take 2, Marky Delgado did not miss this chance for his people.
It was a “home” match for CF Montreal, at DRV PNK Stadium, home of Inter Miami CF, at the start of the season. It was over 30 ° C in Fort Lauderdale. A very different environment from New Jersey last year.
Copy and paste in the second half
This late goal did not shake the Montrealers.
After an interesting opportunity on both sides, the CFM added a third goal to the 54e minute.
On a corner kick from Mustafa Kizza, Victor Wanyama – the club’s only designated player – sprang to nod a low head behind goalkeeper Alex Bono. The icing on the cake, the Kenyan achieved the blow by literally jumping over Michael Bradley, one of the “favorites” of Montreal fans.
Wanyama and Samuel Piette also provided a good performance side by side in midfield.
Then, at the 71e, Djordje Mihailovic, on a pass from Erik Hurtado, ridiculed the Toronto defense for a goal in his first game with Montreal after being acquired from the Chicago Fire.
« The idea is to put him in conditions so that he is able to touch the ball as often as possible because he is a creative player, who feels the game, » said Wilfried Nancy of his midfielder. field on which the organization bet big last December.
At the 88e minute, Torontonian Richie Laryea netted a magnificent goal in a losing cause.
CF Montreal are now 9-14-4 this season against Toronto FC.
Although both clubs ended the match neck-to-neck for possession time and shots, Nancy’s squad were arguably the most threatening and deserved the win.
But the TFC – second in the East last year – had several absent, including important members. Alejandro Pozuelo (2020 MVP), Jozy Altidore and Jonathan Osorio were not available. Some will also point to the possible fatigue of the Torontonians, who had played in the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday.
Anyway, beyond the victory, CF Montreal presented a very entertaining offensive game. If this match turns out to be a harbinger of the rest of the season, Montreal fans will find what they are looking for. More than expected, at the very least.
Montreal will play its next game in Nashville, next Saturday.