MLS: CF Montreal loses 2-1 to Real Salt Lake
Summary CF Montreal c. Real Salt Lake
MONTREAL – Lose? It happens even to the best. They manage on the other hand so that it is not custom.
In this sense, CF Montreal missed a great opportunity to legitimize its new status, that of a team considered a power in its part of the standings, Sunday at Stade Saputo. Four days after seeing their unbeaten streak come to an end at eight in Nashville, the Montreal XI lost again, by the same score of 2-1, this time to Real Salt Lake.
The end of the world? Of course not. Wilfried Nancy has also taken care to underline it in post mortem. But the disappointment was nonetheless palpable in the tone of the coach, less dejected by the result than by the effort provided by his people in what was the first of a series of five straight games at home.
« It’s not us to concede the ball like that, » sighed Nancy. In the first half, they had more chances. Afterwards, when we calmed down and we put more of the game, coincidentally we had chances. But we were always in an in-between, whether defensively or offensively. »
Yet it was off to a good start. From the 44and second, Djordje Mihailovic found himself at the very end of a superb attacking build that saw the ball pass through the feet of Joaquin Torres and Ahmed Hamdi before being put deep by the young American sensation. It was Mihailovic’s third goal in four games, seventh since the start of the season.
“MVP! “, we began to chant in the stands. But this enthusiasm was exhausted at the same rate as the energy reserves of the favorites who, in their defense, played despite a certain accumulated fatigue. It was the third match in nine days for the Men in Black.
Nine of the holders against Salt Lake had also been in the middle of the week. Nancy also revealed that Lassi Lappalainen, leaving on Sunday but replaced by Mathieu Choinière after the intermission, had played « congested ».
“But apart from that, it’s more our approach in the game, reiterated the strategist. We lacked patience at times. We rushed and what they wanted was for us to lose the ball quickly. I don’t know if it’s fatigue or not… »
It must also be said that the visitors arrived with the reputation of being an adversary that is not easily defeated. A week earlier, the Utah squad came from behind to defeat Austin FC. It was his seventh comeback, playoff games included, since the start of the 2021 season, a peak in MLS.
The first warnings that an eighth was in the cards came around the twentieth minute, shortly after Romell Quioto was disallowed for offside. They first took the form of poorly framed attempts from set pieces. Then before long goalkeeper Sebastian Breza had to put his two cents in there. He made a superb save with his fingertips on a redirection from Bobby Wood in the 28thandthen another, chest first, on a point-blank shot from the same assailant at 45and.
The rest offered by the intermission had no impact on the balance of power that was in the process of being established. The dike gave way at the 54and minute, when defender Justen Glad put his head on a corner kick that went to die inside the far post.
Three minutes later, the imposing Sergio Cordova took the space generously offered to him to shake again the defensive bulwark of Montreal. The 14,000 spectators breathed a collective sigh of relief when his shot went skimming the post on the opposite side.
But the Venezuelan took notes and recovered from a similar angle to the 66and minute. Rash on the visitors’ bench, disbelief all around. CF Montreal had no longer accustomed its supporters to such a collapse.
« And after the second goal, we waited, » criticized Nancy.
“We knew they were going to wait for us in 4-4-2. We were sometimes impatient with the ball, we did not do what was necessary to unbalance them. We scored early, but we didn’t continue playing, so that’s it. It’s a bad night,” boiled Rudy Camacho, who also described the result as “disappointing” and “irritating”.
On Wednesday, the players who have made up the depth of the team so far should take center stage as the 2022 edition of the Canadian Championship begins. Hamilton’s Forge FC will then be in town to try to cause an upset and dethrone the defending champions of the competition.
Until then, let Sunday’s result serve as a reminder that the job is never done, especially not in May.