CF Montreal Falls Short As Whitecaps Retain Canadian Championship Title
CF Montreal fell just short on Wednesday night as they were beaten 2-1 by the Vancouver Whitecaps, who have now won back-to-back Canadian Championship titles.
“It was not meant for us tonight,” Losada said. “We will keep working and try again next year.”
Brian White and Ryan Gauld scored for the home team who dominated the game for the first 80 minutes, while Sunusi Ibrahim scored one late – but it wasn’t enough.
As Losada said on Monday, the visitors sat back and let the Whitecaps come at them. Iif not for the amazing performance of Jonathan Sirois, it would have been a much more lopsided scoreline.
“He got a great game. If we had tied and gone to penalties, or maybe even won, he would have been the man of the match.”
Sirois made his first save of the game in the sixth minute when he denied Tristan Blackmon and on the ensuing play made an incredible save on Julian Gressel.
Gressel had two more chances to score, but again was unable to beat Sirois, who was playing the match of his life.
“He is growing every day and if not for him we would not be in it until the very end.”
Near the end of the first half, CF Montreal finally got their first shot on target as Ariel Lassiter almost nutmegged Whitecaps keeper Yohei Takaoka, who managed to bend down and block the ball with his knees.
The Whitecaps opened the scoring in the 57th minute as Sirois made his only mistake of the night while attempting to clear the ball at the top of his box and dropping it to Brian White, who was putting pressure. He tapped the ball into an open net.
In the 65th minute, Vancouver was awarded a penalty after Ahmed Hamdi fouled a player in the box. Ryan Gauld converted from the spot to make it 2-0.
CF Montreal got within one in the 83rd minute as Sunusi Ibrahim got a great aerial feed from Mathieu Choiniere and managed to beat Takaoka to make it 2-1.
That goal forced a late spark as CF Montreal attempted to throw everything at Vancouver, and in added time Ibrahim had another chance but Takaoka was up to a spectacular save.
In the dying seconds of the game, Mason Toye had the last chance of the game, but put it right into the hands of Takaoka. The final whistle blew.
I asked Hernan Losada in his post-game press conference if he felt the comeback was too little too late.
“I would have liked to play more minutes but the game is 90, and today there were six added minutes. The players tried everything, and they played with a big heart and gave everything on the field.”
The Vancouver Whitecaps have earned a berth in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup as a result of their second straight Canadian Championship title win.
CF Montreal has one game left in MLS before the international break as they will welcome Minnesota United for the first time to Saputo Stadium on Saturday night.
Header Image Photo Credit: Vancouver Whitecaps