CF Montreal lost by shutout to Austin FC
The conclusion may be a little harsh, but the 15,045 fans present at the stadium would certainly have appreciated at least a small goal from their favorites to warm up on this rather autumnal evening.
They were instead treated to a game of chess, which opened up when Austin lost an important piece late in the first half. In this weekend of grand prix, the result of the races gives a victory of Austin with the score of 1-0.
After a three-week break from activities, CF Montreal players may have been full of good intentions, but the team chemistry had certainly taken a bit of rust, admitted midfielder Samuel Piette, who played in the first 45 minutes of the game.
It’s not happy for sure, we are disappointed with the result of the match and the performance, said the Quebecer. We lacked deep runs in the first half and lacked cohesion and killer instinct in the second half. We absolutely have to win our games at home.
To add insult to injury, it was a veteran of the house who scored the only goal for the Texans in the second half when they were also playing 10 against 11 since the end of the first period when Daniel Pereira added a second yellow card of the evening to his collection.
Argentinian Maxi Urruti, alone in the six yards with two defenders, redirected a cross from Jon Gallagher past goalkeeper Sebastian Breza. It was the striker’s fifth goal of the season.
However, at the start of the second half, the hosts had some good chances to score. The best, in the 53rd minute, saw Kei Kamara redirect a center from Zachary Brault-Guillard directly on the goalkeeper, yet a few meters from him.
The ball, which passed between the legs of the defender, seemed to surprise the experienced striker, who got the 305th start of his career on Saturday.
This may be the turning point for us, said head coach Wilfried Nancy. He may be surprised, but he knows he has to put that goal. We didn’t have a lot of chances and we could have had more speed tonight. When you don’t punish, you get punished. That’s how soccer is and it often happens when a team plays with 10.
A minute earlier, Matko Miljevic, starting for only the third time this season in the absence of top scorer Djordje Mihailovic, also had a great chance to score, but his shot from the 18-yard line missed the target.
Entering in the 72nd, Romell Quioto also had the equalizing goal at the end of the foot in the 86th. Positioned between two Austin defenders at the six-yard line, he redirected a pass from Ahmed Hamdi, but the ball was blocked by a rival’s heel.
CF Montreal played their all-out in the last minutes, multiplying the attacks, but the pastel green bus, well parked in front of its net, parried all the blows.
Lack of luck for Montrealers.
We did not really feel the sense of urgency in the second half and this desire to attack the penalty area, added Piette. We want and we have to be patient, but in the end, we have to take more risks and put more balls in the box. Tonight, we didn’t.
The excess trap
This is the second time this season that CF Montreal has dropped points against an opponent who plays with one player less on the field. In March, Montreal was up from 3-1 to 3-3 in Atlanta.
If mathematically, the advantage of playing 11 against 10 is undeniable, tactically, there are nuances.
It may seem paradoxical, but it’s not always easy to play against a team with 10, explained the Montreal coach. We could have created more chances and for that, we have to put more speed and madness into the game. We lacked binding and precision in the last third. We haven’t created enough of a gap.
Piette even warned his teammates in the locker room at halftime, especially since his evening’s work was over.
We are a team that manages games well when we are pressed by our rivals, explained Piette. We are a patient team and we like to play in open spaces. When you play against Austin, with a lower defensive block, the spaces are tighter because their players play closer. We have a hard time breaking that block.
With pride, at 11 against 10, we really wanted to win the match, added Mathieu Choinière. We know that the team of 10 will do everything and will play like dogs to defend. They defended well, they found the flaw on our side and it was difficult to penetrate their defensive block.
Four weeks without Mihailovic
As expected, injured Mihailovic and Kamal Miller were missing for CF Montreal, which was also without Lassi Lappalainen, whose name was listed on the club’s COVID-19 protocol.
What was not expected is that Mihailovic injured himself again in training on Wednesday, a knee this time. Wilfried Nancy revealed in a press briefing that his star player could be absent for a period of four weeks.
In his absence, Matko Miljevic could fill many minutes. His trainer would have liked him to be sharper on Saturday.
He alternated the good and the bad tonight, said Nancy. He can be more precise in the last gesture, in the last pass. He must do better, he knows it.
For his part, Kamal MIller should return within 7 to 10 days, while Lappalainen can resume training with the team now.
CF Montreal will play its next match Wednesday in Toronto as part of the Canadian Championship semi-final. The Impact will be back in its stadium next Saturday to receive a visit from Charlotte.
In the notebook:
Before the match, the former captain and first scorer in the history of the Montreal Impact in MLS was introduced to the crowd.