The duels between CF Montreal and Toronto FC have always been known to spark sparks. On Sunday, the fans assembled at BMO Stadium deserved a campfire, as Montreal triumphed 4-3.
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Feelings, physical play and goals, lots of goals: this is the recipe for a successful derby between two bitter enemies. Moreover, the stakes were high for the visitors, who dealt a blow to the Torontonians in their quest for MLS elimination matches.
Wilfred Nancy’s men once again showed their unspeakable persistence on the road after experiencing the worst start to the game imaginable. In doing so, they raised their score to 52 points, surpassing the record set in 2015 (51).
Two goals down after seven short minutes, the Montreal club readjusted the game and cooled off the baffling Toronto side to see their lead fade like snow in the sun.
“It’s historical [cette victoire]Nancy commented. I didn’t have time to push them back into the game: they did it themselves. They were keen to show that this is a team (…) that wants to have fun in the game and in the fight.
“It was unbelievable to be back from behind,” Alistair Johnston added. It felt like the walls were getting close to us and the crowd was very busy. But we are a tough team to beat regardless of the outcome. We’ve stayed true to who we are.”
Kemal Miller started rolling the ball in the 19th minute, taking advantage of a rebound from Kee Kamara. Skillfully maneuvering on the edge of the penalty area, the Montreal side grabbed the Toronto defense and took advantage of the break to open the counter.
“It was fantastic,” Miller said of his first goal in his hometown. It would have been better to do it in front of several friends and family members.”
A man of big occasions, Camara has been one of the most important architects to come back, on an offensive level as much as on an effort level. According to Nancy, “He ran all over the place to help the team.”
Camara gave his team the lead shortly before the break by winning their duel against Chris Mavinga and slipping the ball between Alex Bono’s legs.
The third highest scorer in Major League Soccer history was also a winning net partner. He redirected a perfect Rommel Kyoto cross in Johnston’s direction with a header, and the Canadian defender asked for nothing else to thread the needle.
Before that, Djordji Mihajlovic showed his great form to create a tie. His powerful shot, hitting several steps from the penalty area, gave Bono no chance and silenced the Toronto hosts.
Minutes after the final whistle, Lorenzo Insigne scored the goal for the second time in the match. The Italy international did not even celebrate his success, realizing that the result of the match was already sealed.
Before finding relief, Bleu-Blanc-Noir looked like a tourist in the Toronto FC team’s park.
Quebec player Samuel Peet suffered especially in the first minutes. He opened the first net for Toronto by making a mistake in the penalty area. The video replay sent Federico Bernardeschi to the point of the “penalty kick”, and the ex-Juventus player did not miss his chance.
Peet sent a cross right into Insigne’s foot two minutes later, and the young striker made it 2-0 with a superb shot.
However, Repentenoa put herself together and showed self-immolation over the next 83 minutes, performing admirably by closing the door in the middle of the field with Victor Wanyama.
Then the stars lined up with CF Montreal. According to Miller, the proper preparation of his people and poor management of the men’s match in red set the stage for “Remontada”.
“The way this league has been made, when you’re 2-0 down, you can’t count on your laurels,” Miller said. Even at this point in the game, our captains were very positive. We knew we would have opportunities to bridge the gap.
“The more tired the Toronto team, the stronger we get.”
CF Montreal will return home Friday to welcome the Columbus crew.
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