MONTREAL – Before the start of the match on Saturday afternoon, CF Montreal players trained in T-shirts emblazoned with the number “10” and the name “La Fleur”. The organization also considered paying tribute to the former Montreal Canadiens legend and imposed a moment of silence. About two hours later, the No. 10 player in CF Montreal played the champs.
Joaquin Torres scored in the 82nd minute to lead Montreal to a difficult 2-1 victory over Atlanta United at Saputo Stadium.
Torres called up the fight early in the second half, scoring his second goal of the season with a header from Kemal Miller’s cross past goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
«Nous avions besoin du profil de Joaquin pour pousser l’adversaire à se défendre un peu plus», an expliqué l’entraîneur-chef Wilfried Nancy lorsque questionné sur sa decision d’envoyer l’Argentin sur le terrainil au’ moment où Act.
“Through his profile, I know that Joaquin is able to question the opponent when he plays.”
Miller, who starred on Saturday, scored the first goal for the Montreal team in the fourth minute of the game.
“He thought he was a striker, so I hope he doesn’t think he’s Zidane now!” Nancy said quizzically.
On a more serious note, Nancy described Miller’s defensive performance as “heavy,” but not perfect.
“He knows I’m calling for him, but I’m very happy for him because, with the staff, we talk a lot, and he has a lot of room for improvement. If he manages to be consistent, he can be at a very high level,” analyzed the CF Montreal coach.
The visitors’ response came from Marcelino Moreno, early in the second half against Sebastian Brezza, solid in front of his own goal.
With this sixth straight game unbeaten, Montreal (4-3-2) equaled the team’s record for the first time in 2015, and repeated in 2016 and 2021.
However, he got there in the context of a volatile and somewhat underwhelming display against a rival that constantly gets him into trouble even if, as was the case on Saturday, that rival was without several key players, including striker Joseph Martinez and goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
“The guys found a way to win that match, like football is irrational sometimes. It worked for us today,” Nancy admitted.
“I was happy for them, really happy. We played against a quality team. Even if they were absent, they still had players who were there.
Montreal Football Club will play its second game in a row at Saputo Stadium next Saturday, this time against Orlando City. However, he will be denied Victor Wanyama and Ismail Kone, who will be suspended for accumulating yellow cards.
Another quick goal
The Montreal club, since the start of the season, has been accustomed to receiving the opponent’s first goal while playing abroad. To his credit, he does not repeat this obsession in front of his followers.
As they did two weeks ago against the Vancouver Whitecaps, Wilfried Nancy’s men sowed joy among their fans just moments after kick-off.
After a free kick by Djordje Mihajlovic, Miller jumped high in the air and caught the ball past Shuttleworth to score his first goal since November 3, 2021.
However, Montreal’s only good move, in terms of attack, was during the first 45 minutes of play.
Montreal Football Club were so ineffective in the first half that they only possessed the ball 27.3 percent of the time. And when he got it, he struggled to show consistency as evidenced by his less than 70 percent pass completion rate.
“We didn’t have the ball, so the players worked on something else, on the defensive side, defending a little bit longer, defending without the ball longer. They were strong, they were mentally strong. They were also very strong in conceding only one goal,” Nancy praised .
In fact, the main player in this first half for the Montreal team was Briza, who had to save twice, first against Thiago Almada, in the 11th minute, and then against Moreno, in the 32nd minute.
The latter recovered by scoring the equalizer in the 51st minute thanks to a low shot that first gave the vertical bar to Brezza’s right before rolling into the net.
This goal seemed to wake up the Montreal players, who were much more dynamic and threatening after that.
Their efforts paid off when Torres shook the strings after a brilliant play by Miller.
Then Briza saved a key in the 90th minute to ensure the victory.