MLS: CF Montreal signs a third victory in a row
MONTREAL – “There are no easy games in MLS,” CF Montreal coach Wilfried Nancy warned before the Vancouver Whitecaps arrived in town this week. His players assimilated the lesson in the best possible way in their first game of the season at Stade Saputo.
Three points, but a good scare.
It took the intervention of the official in charge of the video replay in stoppage time of the second half for the Montreal team to inaugurate their local season in joy, on the strength of a 2-1 victory which took slip through his fingers.
Tosaint Ricketts appeared to have tied the game in the 92nd minute, but it was determined the Whitecaps veteran had moved into an offside position just before being targeted by a cross in the penalty area.
« There’s a lot of debate about video replay, but when it comes to offside, it’s pretty clear. In this case, they were offside and the correct decision was made. We can say that we were a little lucky, but that’s part of the game, ”rejoiced defender Alistair Johnston after the meeting.
Saved by these few decisive centimeters, CF Montreal (3-3-1) finally savored a third consecutive victory. He has now collected a point in four straight games.
« I’m going to save the victory, » said Nancy in a tone tinged with regret. But the players know it and we know it, we weren’t terrible. Even in the first half. Of course, we started well. We had good times, we managed to pick up speed, we unbalanced them as expected. But then we had a lack of control in the game.
“In the second half, from the 20and minute, I didn’t like it. But hey, we’ll remember the victory. »
Djordje Mihailovic and Romell Quioto, in the first moments of each period, were the scorers for the winners.
Mihailovic opened the scoring in the second minute after a failed counterattack landed on Johnston’s foot. With well-disguised delicacy, the Canadian international guided Mihailovic past the crush that reigned in the area. His relay was skillfully received on the fly and ended its journey in the back of the goal.
For only the second time this season, CF Montreal was the first team to turn on the scoreboard.
By scoring for the fourth time in his last four games, Mihailovic equaled his goal tally from last season. Johnston meanwhile collected an assist in a second game in a row.
Montreal would fire six more shots at young goaltender Thomas Hasal before the end of the half, but his lack of cohesion near the opposing goal prevented him from taking cover. Just before the intermission, Quioto and Ismaël Koné misread each other’s intentions after entering the surface. Lassi Lappalainen then squandered a great chance made by Mihailovic.
“I won’t say that it annoys me, but today we could have scored more goals if we had been cleaner, more decisive in the last or penultimate gesture. Especially in the first half, ”said Nancy.
Quioto offered some comfort to the locals by scoring his third of the season at the 47and minute. The goal originated on a clean recovery from Mihailovic in the center circle. After feeding Sunusi Ibrahim on his right, the American was handed the ball and immediately redirected it to his partner on the other side. Quioto looked in disbelief at how easily he was able to complete the choreography.
It was around the hour mark that things got complicated for CF Montreal. Entering the match after returning from the locker room, Lucas Cavallini first thought he had beaten Sebastian Breza before the linesman raised his flag to signal an offside. But a few minutes later, Brian White hit the mark in full legality, installing an all-too-familiar nervousness in the Montreal defense.
But for a third outing in a row, the Montrealers can boast of having withstood the last onslaught and of having been able to protect their lead. Some will see it as luck, others as a sign of progress.
“I’m not smiling much, but it’s still the third win in a row. It’s already not bad, ”consoled Nancy.
CF Montreal will play its next game next Saturday in Philadelphia against the best team in the Eastern Conference.