Mathieu Choiniere Brace Leads CF Montreal To Win Over TFC
Three weeks with no games can either do two things: either your team will be fully fit and refreshed or you can come out flat and rusty.
It was safe to say CF Montreal was like the cannon waiting to be fired as they came out of the blocks firing on all cylinders beating their arch-rivals in TFC on the road at BMO Field 3-2.
Mathieu Choiniere scored a brace and CF Montreal scored another that was deemed an own goal.
“The first half was exceptional,” Losada remarked as he smirked on the Zoom post-game-press conference after joking around with a journalist in the room.
” Collectively, it was good and if we had scored more no one can say anything, but if the game stays 2-0 there is still a game to be played and that’s what happened.”
Jules Anthony Vilsaint made his debut in the starting eleven and he made an immediate impact as in the 18th minute he powered a shot on target and the rebound went to Choiniere who buried it.
“The win was earned. It’s three points on the road, and it’s a third straight win against Toronto! I hope our fans are happy.”
Seven minutes later the almost exact play happened again with Vilsaint getting another chance at goal and this time the rebound went off TFC defender Aime Mabika and into the net.
The goal was celebrated by a packed away supporters section who made the trip from Montreal to show their support.
“It feels good, and yes there are things we need to work on but we started with six Canadian players – five from Quebec – and a very young starting eleven. We showed age is of no importance.”
Vilsaint’s start was short-lived as a couple of minutes later he suffered an ankle injury and needed to be subbed off for Chinonso Offor, who came into the game.
The Opoku and Vilsaint connection was something that seemed to work but as soon as Vilsaint went out TFC regained possession of the ball and the match started to turn.
“It’s unfortunate that we finish with a diminished performance in that second half, we made that change and TFC started taking more risks but in the end, it’s three important points,” added Losada.
That win is only the second CF Montreal league road win of the season, as that has been their Achilles heel all season long – but tonight it seemed to work in their favour playing away from home.
“We know it’s special for the club and for all the supporters who made the trip. It feels good, and it’s good for our morale and our confidence for the games to come.”
TFC got within one in the 67th minute when Federico Bernadeschi got a ball at the top of the box and powered a shot into the opposite corner of the net to make it 2-1.
“I think in moments we were sharp and with the ball, there were very good moments, but there are moments where we lose concentration and when we lose focus and where we make unnecessary mistakes, but it is part of the process and I embrace my team to make mistakes.”
Ten minutes later Opoku made a fabulous run up the middle and gave the ball to Lassi Lappalainen who was taken down in the box and the ref immediately pulled out a red card for Raoul Pettratta and awarded CF Montreal a penalty.
Mathieu Choiniere made no mistake beating Tomas Romero from the spot to make it 3-1 for the visitors. In the final minute of added time in regulation, Bernadeschi scored another goal identical to the one he scored earlier literally lifting his team on his own to make it 3-2.
That was as close as TFC was able to get and the final whistle blew sealing the win for CF Montreal.
I asked Losada about the thought process to finally putting Vilsaint into the starting eleven and asked if he feels he is a game changer.
“There are two different profiles and with Jules, you have more depth and more runs in behind and that was painful for Toronto’s defense, and with Chinonso you have more of a target man.”
Joel Waterman was asked to give his thoughts on another win against TFC.
“Massive,” Waterman responded. “It’s always good to get a win against your arch rivals, including the season sweep beating them three times this year and it’s huge for our club and our fans.”
I asked Waterman about the idea of not playing for three weeks and either coming out flat or fresh.
“I thought our preparation was good. We trained well and we trained hard and they kept us fit. It was a Darby match and that was the best possible situation for us, and we’re going to hope it continues.”