CF Montreal had their home opener at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday, but unfortunately, it was the same result as they got in Orlando. I don’t think anyone likes playing at the Big O, because of the concrete underneath the artificial turf, it led to the ball bouncing a lot, and really hurt the quality of the game. Like last week, first half wasn’t too bad for CF Montreal, but the second half was another story…
Early on in this game, Philadelphia Union were pressing high and with the bouncy surface, CF Montreal had a hard time getting out from their own third of the pitch. The Union had the bulk of the chances early and forced a big save out of Sebastian Breza in the 14th minute. Philadephia continued the pressure and it led to very early yellow cards handed out to Ismael Kone and Victor Wanyama in the 20th and 23rd minute.
The tide of the first half seemed to turn in the 32nd minute, when Kone made a nice little run that saw him get possession at the top of the union box, he picked out Lassi Lappalainen who’s shot took a big deflection but found the back of the net. After that goal, CFM pretty much controlled the rest of the half, and Joaquin Torres came close to a second goal for Montreal in the 44th minute but Union keeper Andre Blake made a finger tip save.
Going into the second half, CF Montreal looked to carry that momentum with them, and they thought they had their second goal in the 49th minute when Dorde Mihailovic made an incredible solo run through the Philadelphia defence and slotted passed Blake. The goal was called back by VAR for a foul in the lead up.
This goal being called back gave the Union a new life, and they took advantage of it. The mentality of playing out from the back was the reason Philadelphia tied the game in 53rd minute. In a bit of very scrappy play in the CFM box, Rudy Camacho had a chance to put his boot through the ball and clear it, but tried to pass out and it went right to Alejandro Bedoya who’s put his shot pass Breza to make it 1-1.
Less then 4 minutes later the Union were in front thanks to Julian Carranza getting behind the Montreal defence and picking out a wide open Daniel Gazdag in the 6 yard box, a he scored easily past Breza to give the Union the 2-1 lead.
Inexplicably, Carranza would then get two yellow cards in the space of 7 minutes, and was sent off in the 71st minute, giving Montreal a chance to get at least a point in their home opener.
Lappalainen would come close to scoring his second of the game, but Andre Blake came up his best save of the game. In the 81st minute, Kamal Miller had CF Montreal’s best chance when he snuck behind the Union defence and got his head to Zachary Brault-Guillard’s cross, but put his header wide. Even being down to ten men, the Union were able to hold on a take all 3 points from CF Montreal.
This is not the start that Wilfred Nancy had planned for his side, and will have to make some changes quickly to right the ship. It won’t be easy for Nancy and his squad, as the next MLS home game is in mid April. Points on the road for CF Montreal are a must right now.
The next game for CF Montreal actually comes in the CONCACAF Champions League, when they take on Cruz Azul this Wednesday at 10PM.
And here is a clip of Chtib and Zhang discussion who the bigger star is un the lead up to UFC 272