One team’s record improved, another broke and a two-fold jump in the MLS Eastern Conference standings from third to first; How far can CF Montreal go in 2022?
Montreal played their eighth game in a row unbeaten thanks to a tough 2-0 win over Charlotte on Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium.
By the way, Wilfried Nancy’s men set another team record by playing the fifth game in a row (3-0-2) without losing on the opponent’s court.
Montreal have not lost a game since March 12, when they lost 4-1 to New York City at Yankee Stadium.
“Very, very, very happy with what the guys did. It wasn’t easy. We played in a good atmosphere, on an artificial pitch – it’s been a long time since we played – the playing temperature was good, against a good team,” analyzed Nancy.
Djorgi Mihajlovic, with his sixth in the season, scored before injury time in the first half, and Alistair Johnston, in the second half, the two goals of Montreal (6-3-2).
Goalkeeper Sebastian Brezza saved all four shots on target for Charlotte FC (4-7-1) and scored his first elimination of the season.
“I’m glad (the guys) have been talking about closing for so long and they’ve done it. It’s good for them. Good for the defenders. It’s good for the team,” said Nancy.
Montreal’s win in a 1-1 draw between Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls put the Montreal team in first place in the Eastern Conference.
In fact, Montreal, Orlando City (6-4-2) and Philadelphia Union (5-1-5) each have 20 points. However, CF Montreal has played one game less than Orlando City SC and has one more win than Union.
However, perhaps because we are only third in the season, Nancy didn’t want to get too excited about her team’s current position in the standings.
“It’s the truth of the moment. So much the better. What matters to me is that guys, today, keep doing good things. We’re on a show, we’re in a good story now. All the merit goes, again, to the players’ level,” qualified Nancy.
There is confidence building up since last year. When we have accurate game plans, the players are happy to implement them, and at the same time, they are able to modify themselves. What matters to me is how many wins we have.”
However, Montreal completed the match without Rommel Koyoto, who injured his right shoulder in the sequence that led to Mihajlovic’s goal.
After several minutes on the ground, Quioto finally got up, but left the field immediately. After Johnston’s goal, he is seen on the sidelines, a big smile on his face, but also with his right arm in a sling.
After the match, Nancy was unable to provide more information about the severity of the injury.
Saturday’s game was the first in a five-game series that will take the Montreal club through to the next international break in early June.
Three of these matches will take place at Stade Saputo, but before returning home, Wilfred Nancy’s men will have to go to GEODIS Park, MLS’ newest new stadium, for a not-so-easy duel against Nashville SC. Wednesday evening.
In addition, this series of meetings also includes a visit to Forge FC of Hamilton, on May 25, when CF Montreal begins his title defense for the Canadian champion.
Slow start of the game
With a team undefeated for two months and another undefeated in front of their supporters since the beginning of March, we approached the start of the match with caution on both sides.
The match started to come alive after the first half hour of the match and both teams had great chances to score the first goal of the match.
CF Montreal got the best of it in the 45th minute of play.
Mihajlovic was left completely alone in the center of the area, veering right foot, behind Christian Kahlina, and a nice back pass from Kyoto as the latter fell hard on the ground after coming into contact with defender Guzman Kurojo.
Kei Kamara, the substitute for Kyoto, got the assist in Johnston’s goal in the 67th minute, shortly after the Charlotte club threatened Montreal.
A sign of maturity that seemed to be earned, the Montreal side seemed to be in control of the situation for the next 25 minutes and they managed to protect their lead and that win.