CF Montreal wins against DC United and keeps their eyes on the top tier in the East

CF Montreal did their job in their last home game before the playoffs and beat DC United 1-0 on Saturday in front of a packed house at Stade Saputo.

The Montreal troupe largely dominated the match, but they needed an own goal to get the three points. Defender Donovan Pines inadvertently deflected a pass from Zachary Brault-Guillard into his own net and that goal was the difference after 90 minutes of play.

CF Montreal (19-9-5) is undefeated in its last five outings (4-0-1) and can still dream of first place in the Eastern Conference. Earlier Saturday, the Philadelphia Union lost 4-0 to Charlotte FC.

With 64 points and one game to go, the Union holds a two-point lead over the Bleu-blanc-noir. If both teams were to end the campaign with 65 points, the Montrealers would hold the tiebreaker due to a greater number of victories.

In the case of DC United (7-20-6), they are guaranteed to have the worst record in MLS. It was a fourth season of 20 losses for him, more than any team since 2000.

Called up to play for their national team during the international break, Alistair Johnston, Ismaël Koné, Kamal Miller, Samuel Piette, Romell Quioto, Robert Thorkelsson and Joel Waterman were back with CF Montreal. Waterman and Koné started the game as Piette and Johnston entered the second half.

Quioto, however, was out with a thigh injury while Djordje Mihailovic was missed due to suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards. Lassi Lappalainen made a comeback.

Wilfried Nancy’s men return to action next Sunday when they take on Inter Miami CF to close out the 2022 season.

Celebrations to end

DC United got the first scoring chance of the match, following an off-target header from Victor Palsson, but CF Montreal quickly increased the pressure.

The Bleu-blanc-noir quietly weaved its web and fired a few shots towards the enemy net, without however hitting the target. Goalkeeper David Ochoa had to stand out in the 20th minute, when he dived to his right to deprive Joaquin Torres of a goal.

The visitors knocked on the door twice in the space of a minute, but James Pantemis, on Miguel Berry’s attempt, and defender Gabriele Corbo, on Christian Benteke’s header, said no.

Aided by Pines, Wilfried Nancy’s troops took the lead in the 41st minute. Brault-Guillard fired a low cross into the penalty area, but Pines put his foot out and he changed the ball’s trajectory to surprise Ochoa.

Despite their lead, the Montrealers continued to attack in the second half to get an insurance goal. They had the chance to do so in the 80th minute, after video assistant refereeing confirmed that Pines had pushed Koné into the penalty area.

It was Torres who had the mandate to execute the penalty, but his shot to the left was deftly blocked by Ochoa. Pines was still expelled. DC United thought they had leveled the score in the 87th minute, but the referee on the sidelines canceled a goal due to offside.

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