CF Montreal season ends after shaky first effort against defending MLS Cup champions

CF Montreal’s post-season streak came to an end with a 3-1 loss to defending MLS Cup champion New York City FC on Sunday in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Maximiliano Moralez, Heber and Telle Magno all scored for NYCFC who took a 3-0 lead before the home side could enter the draw.

Djordje Mihailovic scored Montreal’s only goal.

It was a nervous start for Montreal who couldn’t hold the ball more than a few passes at a time. That would prove costly as Moralez was left alone in front of an open net after a series of defensive errors, putting the visitors up just six minutes away.

The error seemed to wake Montreal up as the home side began to dominate the ball. Their first chance came just five minutes after conceding when Alistair Johnston found Kai Kamara’s header in the box, forcing a fine reaction from New York keeper Sean Johnson.

Johnston and Kamara would reconnect later, with Kamara hitting the post as home team pressure on the New York backline continued to mount.

Montreal dominated possession for periods

Shortly after the 30 minute mark, Johnson was again called upon to bail out the NYCFC defense when Ismael Kone found himself on the end of a cross, prompting another incredible save.

As Montreal continued to press, New York found openings to counter just as the first half was winding down. After taking possession of his own half, Santiago Rodriguez spotted Heber’s late run to double his lead in stoppage time.

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The second half saw both teams maintain their style of play, with Montreal dominating possession for long stretches and New York sitting deep and soaking up the pressure.

Once again, NYCFC struck on the counterattack, taking a penalty after Montreal goalkeeper James Pantemis beat Gabriel Pereira in the penalty area. Substitute Telle Magno would step up and take the lead to 3-0 in the 61st minute.

The Montrealers scored Mihailovic in the 85th minute, his last goal in front of the Stade Saputo crowd before he left for the Dutch side AZ Alkmaar this winter.

New York will now begin preparations for the Eastern Conference Finals on October 30 at Subaru Park in Philadelphia to face the Union.

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