CF Montreal Beats TFC To Win Fourth Straight MLS Match
CF Montreal beat Toronto FC for the second time this week, this time at Saputo Stadium in front of a sellout crowd of over 19,000 in attendance.
They also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the club which began on May 14th, 1993 with a game against the Los Angeles Salsa.
Lassi Lappalainen and Chinonso Offor scored for the home team in an intense rivalry game in another edition of the 401 Derby.
The game started with the visitors on the front foot, but CF Montreal looked calm and composed and played a solid low block and a back line featuring Robert Thorkelsson, who made his first MLS start in front of a well-settled Jonathan Sirois.
The only real scoring chance of the first half came in the 28th minute when Aaron Herrera ran up the flank and made a solid cross to Offor, whose header went off the crossbar.
The intensity went up another level in the second half and in the 53rd minute CF Montreal opened the scoring: George Campbell intercepted a ball and gave it to Lassi Lappalainen, who tried to cross the ball but it ended up going into the net.
Three minutes we had some drama as TFC player Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty was shown a second yellow card (and thus a red card) for time wasting after he tried to grab a ball in the air meant for Montreal.
The visitors were now down to ten men and in the 68th minute, CF Montreal doubled its lead when Chinonso Offor managed to get a deflected pass in mid-air and beat TFC keeper Sean Johnson.
Between the 70th and 75th minute, Montreal had three more chances to increase its lead but Johnson was able to make key saves when asked upon.
As the final whistle blew there was a bit of drama once again as a scuffle began on the sideline as Marshall-Rutty came back onto the field to get into a fight with Hernan Losada, and Romell Quioto came to his defense. Both teams need to be separated and sent to their respective locker rooms.
After the game, I asked Losada about Lappalainen’s performance and he was quite pleased.
“Lassi played great”, Losada said. “He’s a different player and can change speeds and can plan on the right and the left and I am happy he scored and he’s a good player and he is an important player.”
I asked George Campbell, who made his second straight appearance in the starting eleven tonight, about the intense rivalry between the two clubs.
“The fans were amazing”, he said. “I think both teams brought the intensity and obviously we won in Toronto and we won here and we were showing that we are the better team.”
Finally, we got to speak with Lappalainen and I got to ask him about the goal he scored.
“George just dribbled everyone and he gave me a good pass. I tried to pass it and it went in so it’s a goal,” he reflected.
CF Montreal will go back on the road this time to Ohio to face FC Cincinnati on Wednesday.