MLS: two goals from Romell Quioto propelled CF Montreal to a 2-1 win against Atlanta
MONTREAL – The test was tough and in a context where no points are awarded for aesthetics, it was passed with panache. Having reached the end of a seven-game streak in 22 days, CF Montreal drew on its resources to clinch an important 2-1 victory over Atlanta United FC on Saturday night at Stade Saputo.
Romell Quioto scored two goals in five minutes at the start of the second half to give the Montrealers three big points against a direct opponent in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The result allowed the Bleu et Noir to move from eighth to fifth place in the standings of its section with eleven wins and 40 points after 28 games.
« Very proud, very happy for everyone because physically, we have played a lot of games lately, » admitted coach Wilfried Nancy after the meeting. I didn’t do a lot of rotation and the guys went on. And what interests me in all of this is that yes, guys are able to run, but you sometimes forget that the brain doesn’t work anymore. We no longer have freshness. But the players, until the end, were able to have lucidity to keep the result. «
« It’s a huge victory for us, » said goalie James Pantemis with relief, making two saves. Not only for the ranking, but also to regain our confidence. After our disappointing performance on Wednesday, we wanted to bounce back and that’s what we did. «
CF Montreal had just conceded a goal that could have broken its resilience, three minutes after leaving the locker room, when Quioto laid the foundations for his timely double. Propelled to the opponent’s area by a relay from Joaquin Torres, the Honduran repelled a defender who stuck to his crampons and drew his right foot to place the ball in the top corner.
On the game, Djordje Mihailovic equaled a team record which Ignacio Piatti had previously held the exclusivity by being credited with his 13e decisive pass of the season.
“My priority is the performance of the team and my job within the team is to create as many chances as I can for my teammates. I don’t give too much importance to statistics, but they say I’m doing my job pretty well. As long as I keep this momentum going to help the team win and push for a playoff spot, I’ll be happy, ”commented Mihailovic.
“Nacho Piatti is Nacho Piatti,” said Nancy, smiling when asked to compare the two players. But I’m not surprised at Djordje’s success. We had set the bar high with him when he arrived because I had seen what he could bring to this league. What I like is that he hasn’t stopped improving since he’s been here. He listens, he learns and he is able to repeat his good performances. «
Quioto hit the winning goal in the 55e minute on a penalty caused by Torres. Scoring for the fifth time in his last five games, the forward tied his personal score of eight goals set last season.
Victim of a light contact in the middle of the field, Quioto left the meeting on his two legs in the 65e minute. He was replaced by Sunusi Ibrahim.
Entering the game at half-time, Jake Mulraney was the sole scorer for the visitors, who came to Montreal with an 8-2 record in their last ten games. At that point, they had lost only once in 15 occasions when they were the first to make the scoreboard. Even in the absence of their ace scorer Josef Martinez, left with an injury at half-time, it did not bode too good for the Football Club.
For a team that had accumulated mental errors in the first half, the blow could have been fatal.
“We were up against a very good team and we never gave up,” Nancy appreciated. The guys kept moving forward. This group is resilient and they’ve shown it again tonight. We didn’t get the ball as much as we wanted, we defended more than we expected but they found a way to win. Well done! «
CF Montreal will benefit from a two-week break before entering the last stretch of its calendar. His next game is scheduled for October 16, at home, against the Philadelphia Union.