A victory and a record for CF Montreal in Toronto
It is well known, the duels between CF Montreal and Toronto FC always give rise to sparks. On Sunday, the fans gathered at BMO Field were more entitled to a bonfire, as the Montreal team triumphed 4 to 3.
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Emotions, physical play and goals, lots of goals: this is the recipe for a successful derby between two sworn enemies. What’s more, the stakes were high for the visitors, who dealt a blow to the Torontonians in their quest to make the Major League Soccer (MLS) playoffs.
Wilfried Nancy’s men have once again demonstrated their ineffable persistence on the road after experiencing the worst start imaginable. In doing so, they took their tally to 52 points, eclipsing a team record from 2015 (51).
Trailing by two goals after seven short minutes, CF Montreal readjusted and calmed the game in front of a Toronto FC incredulous to see their lead melt away like snow in the sun.
Kamal Miller started the ball rolling in the 19th minute by taking advantage of a throwback from Kei Kamara. Maneuvering skillfully at the edge of the penalty area, the Montrealers obsessed the Toronto defense and took advantage of a breach to open their counter.
A man of special occasions, Kamara was one of the most important architects of the comeback. He gave his team the lead just before the end of the first half by winning his duel against Chris Mavinga and slipping the ball between the legs of Alex Bono.
The third top scorer in MLS history was also an accomplice in the winning net. He redirected a perfect cross from Romell Quioto with a header in the direction of Alistair Johnston, and the Canadian defender asked nothing more to thread the needle.
Before that, Djordje Mihailovic showed his fine form to create the tie. His powerful shot, several strides from the penalty area, gave Bono no chance and silenced the Toronto home.
Minutes from the final whistle, Lorenzo Insigne hit the target for the second time in the game. The Italian international did not even celebrate his success, aware that the outcome of the match was already sealed.
A painful start
Before finding his ease, the Bleu-Blanc-Noir looked like a tourist on the lawn of Toronto FC.
The Quebecer Samuel Piette particularly struggled in the first minutes. He first opened the door to Toronto’s first net by committing a foul in the penalty area. The video replay sent Federico Bernardeschi to the ‘penalty’ point, and the former Juventus player didn’t miss his chance.
Piette deflected a cross directly at Insigne’s foot two minutes later, and the small forward made it 2-0 with a spectacular volley.
CF Montreal will return to their home on Friday to welcome the Columbus Crew.