During his weekly videoconference last Thursday, Wilfried Nancy warned that no MLS game was easy. His players proved him right on Saturday afternoon with the result, once again, giving away precious points in the standings.
Facing FC Cincinnati, one of the worst teams in MLS, CF Montreal suffered a 2-1 loss on Saturday afternoon at PNK DRV Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
Gustavo Vallecilla scored the winning net in the 86th minute of play against Clément Diop, following a free kick from Ronald Mattarita.
Jürgen Locadia, in the 70th minute, hit FC Cincinnati’s other goal after another set of stopped play.
“My emotions are not frustration. No, it’s nervousness. I spoke to the players. We can’t do that, it’s that simple. We cannot have control of the match and after, after 20 minutes, play as if there was no more structure, as if there was nothing left, ”said Nancy.
“Yes, I put a lot of emphasis on the style of play, but before the style of play, it’s efficiency. And if we don’t have the efficiency, we can have the style of play that we want, it will be difficult. So, suddenly, I passed my message, ”continued the head coach of CF Montreal.
Djordje Mihailovic, with his second of the season, gave CF Montreal the lead in the 56th minute.
A goal that he would gladly have traded for a victory. His physiognomy and the tone of his voice after the meeting said everything about his moods.
» It’s hard. I came here to win. I do my best to help the team win and it’s frustrating to constantly lose games that way. It’s been two games in a row that we’ve lost like that, ”he observed, referring to the setback against Atlanta United FC last Saturday.
The Montreal eleven have still not managed to defeat FC Cincinnati since the entry of this team in MLS in 2019. A team which arrived in Florida, Saturday, with only one point in four games, including two losses by shutout.
“In these kinds of games, it boils down to your state of mind. Beyond the strategy, the physical and mental aspects are important. It’s easy to look at the standings and say to yourself, before the game, we play against the team in the last row and we should win, ”said Mihailovic.
“But in a league like MLS, that’s never the case. There is quality in all the clubs, he continued. If you give them a little room to maneuver, a little motivation, they’ll knock you out. And that’s what happened. Mentally, we weren’t there when we should have been. The only thing we can do is learn (from this defeat). «
CF Montreal (2-3-2) will play their last game before a month-long hiatus when they visit the Chicago Fire next Saturday at Soldier Field.
We will then see if the Montreal team has learned its lessons against a team that started the weekend with only one point in five games.
An uninspiring start
Since the start of the season, CF Montreal players have often made it their business to start their games with vigor. This was not the case on Saturday.
However, Wilfried Nancy’s troops could take comfort in the idea that their rivals weren’t much more active.
The game really livened up from the 39th minute, as the two sides exchanged legitimate scoring opportunities.
The best of all was Romell Quioto in the 45th minute, in a two-way breakaway against goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer along with Zachary Brault-Guillard, back in the squad after a three-game absence.
The latter made a perfect pass to the Honduran, who was only a few meters from a completely deserted net. It is not clear how, Quioto deflected the ball to the right of the straight vertical rod of the net and next to the goal.
The pace did not decrease at the start of the second half, and it was especially CF Montreal that set the pace.
Nancy’s men broke the tie when Quioto forgot his awkwardness at the end of the first half, thanks to a nice pass to the mouth of the net.
Using good reflexes, Mihailovic got to the ball ahead of Vermeer and an opposing defender and deflected it into the net for his first goal since the opener.
About five minutes later, Mihailovic again lodged the ball in the opposing net except that it was declared offside after deflecting the nice pass that Brault-Guillard had served him.
Then, as CF Montreal seemed in control of the game, the tide suddenly turned and FC Cincinnati struck twice in about 15 minutes.
Two goals from which CF Montreal did not recover.
“We needed a second goal to kill the game and we didn’t get it,” said Mihailovic.
“We missed out on chances. I should have been better on the streak where I was offside. One more goal would have killed the game, but since we didn’t, it gave them a little more momentum. We have allowed two goals from set pieces. It is not something that should be happening. «