CF Montreal Edge TFC To Advance In Canadian Championship
CF Montreal booked its spot in the 2023 Canadian Championship semi-final after beating its biggest rival TFC 2-1 on the road at BMO Field.
Zachary Brault Guillard and Chinonso Offor scored for the visitors while Lorenzo Insigne ruined the clean sheet for Jonathan Sirois, but it wasn’t enough for the home side.
Toronto came out of the gates flying and put CF Montreal on the back foot. In the 14th minute, Brandon Servania had the first shot on target of the match which was set up by the Italian Federico Bernardeschi, but Sirois made the save.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 35th minute off a counter-attack: Romell Quioto had a chance at goal, and Brault Guillard picked up the loose rebound and put it into the back of the net.
Four minutes later off a Toronto throw-in, Mathieu Choiniere intercepted the ball and made a stellar cross to Offor who managed to head the ball past Sean Johnson into the back of the net.
In the 44th minute, the home side got one back as Richie Laryea found Insigne at the side of the net for the easy tap-In, breaking a shutout streak of over 400 minutes.
Toronto pressed in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as CF Montreal held off a barrage of attacks and managed to hold on to book their spot in the next round.
A jubilant Hernan Losada, who was celebrating his 41st birthday today, spoke about the win and talked about how they managed the pressure.
“It’s a beautiful moment when you can celebrate a win”, Losada said. “With the players and the staff and on top of that today is my birthday and it was a great gift from the team.”
“It’s a derby, it’s special, and it’s a cup game, so one team wins and one team goes home so it was very important.”
Losada was asked if he felt his team was ready to play from the start of the game after pretty much playing an almost perfect complete game.
“We played a good first half, and I think we could have scored more than two goals. There were so many chances, and I felt we controlled the game. In the second half we knew they would take more risks, but we closed the line so little-by-little we are becoming a united group.”
For periods of the game, it looked like Montreal was sitting back and waiting for the counter. I asked Losada if that was part of the gameplan going in.
“The mindset was coming to Toronto to win, to go to the next round, but the game can sometimes push you to play in a different way, and due to circumstances we needed to sit back, to stay compact, and take advantage of the counterattack but that was not the initial plan.”
Jonathan Sirois, who played in his first 401 Derby, was asked about his experience playing in it and getting the win.
“For me, it was a special day”, Sirois said. “It was my first real derby and growing up as a kid from Montreal and going to Saputo Stadium and watching those derbies either in the stands or on the bench it’s a lot different to be on the pitch so I wanted to make sure that my first one was a good one.”
CF Montreal has now won five straight in all competitions and will face Toronto FC in a league rematch on Saturday, this time at Saputo Stadium and will face Forge FC in the next round.
Header Image Credit: CF Montreal