Monday, February 26, 2024

CONCACAF Champions League | Montreal lights the Olympic stadium and advances to the quarter-finals

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
"Pop culture maven. Unapologetic student. Avid introvert. Gamer. Problem solver. Tv fanatic."

it’s done. Bad luck averted. Montreal defeated Santos Laguna 3-0 (3-1 on aggregate) on Wednesday in an exhibition match at the Olympic Stadium.

Updated yesterday at 11:34 PM.

Jean Francois Teutonio

Jean Francois Teutonio

Thus, Montreal qualified for the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League. While getting revenge on his 2009 nightmare against the same club, in the same competition.

This dominance—because that’s what it was—has been simmering for 13 years in Montreal.

Romell Quioto, who committed as much as possible in this match, opened the scoring on the 9thAnd the the moment. Djordje Mihajlovic scored a superb goal in the 22nd minuteAnd the. Then Ismail Kone, who was playing his first minutes as part of his first tenure with the club, scored a golden opportunity at 61And the.

All this, along with strong defensive efforts, resulted in a “almost perfect” performance from the hosts, Mihajlovic said in a video conference after the match.

His head coach, Wilfried Nancy, wanted to qualify.

The technician humbly commented “Maybe it wasn’t perfect. Of course, we won 3-0, but what I remember is that I felt the players were on a mission. They didn’t care about the opponent we were playing against.”

Nancy praised the fact that his men accepted the small adjustments made after the 1-0 defeat at Torreon last Tuesday and began to ‘own’ the system he wants to put in place.

“I’m proud of that, and I’m happy about that,” he added.


Djordje Mihajlovic celebrates his goal.

This also appeared to be the case with 13,343 fans gathered at the bottom of the Olympic Stadium.

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Take advantage of the gaps

Santos Laguna has a porous defense this season in Liga MX (13 goals in 6 matches). The Guerreros are currently living in the slums in their leagues.

Moreover, two of Torreon’s starting midfielders, Mateus Doria and Felix Torres, were injured during Wednesday’s game. They were replaced by Hugo Rodriguez and Franco Pizziello in the central defence.

CF Montreal took advantage of this. To the dismay of dozens of Mexican fans who gathered in sections 147 to 151 of the stadium.

And it was Eduardo Cibrango, the legendary striker of Montreal, who scored 3 goals in the previous confrontation, who rang the bell for the 1642 Montreal fan group.


Eduardo Cibrango was responsible for the bell in the crowd at 2And the Half.

The first time Sebrango managed to run, he was doing so to celebrate an impressive streak that led to Rommel Kyoto’s huge success.

From the midfield, Victor Wanyama sent a powerful ball to the right towards Mathieu Cchoener. Then, the Quebec player, one of the best players on his side on Wednesday, sent a superb pass (we weigh our words) to Quioto. The Schwinner ball track was art. The leather passed behind two Lagunian defenders, then joined the striker in the penalty area. Quioto eliminated the final Guerrero, and then the goalkeeper, before sending the ball with his right foot into the net from a completely restricted angle.

“It’s the Rommel we know,” said Nancy. I’m not surprised. I’m happy for him. »

At 1-0, the mark followed the trajectory of play from the start of the match. We were already chained to the home and out chain.

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then at 22And theDjorjy Mihajlovic forced Sebrango to swing his arms for the second time.

A good pass between Lacey LaPalainen and Kemal Miller sent the ball to Quioto inside the penalty area. He put his foot on the globe, then immobilized it … to finally find Mihajlovic on the edge of the six meters. The American stepped up, then shot hard with his left foot. The ball hit the crossbar and hit the ropes hard.

“I saw a hole and yelled for the ball, recalls the American after the meeting. Rommel passed it to me. I touched, then kicked him with my left foot as hard as I could.”

According to Mihajlovic, the “momentum” gained with the Canadian Championship title at the end of last season explains the good foundations on which the club stands at the start of the 2022 season.

“We have a good idea of ​​what we want to achieve this year. We are a confident young team.”

However, Santos Laguna still needs only one goal to qualify for the quarter-finals at this point.

Ismail Kony was able to take advantage of his golden opportunity to reassure supporters … and witnesses to the collapse of 2009.

This was the first stint with CF Montreal for the 19-year-old Kony from the academy. It was also his first minutes with the first team. If his start to the match was a bit complicated, he’s found a great way to catch up.

in 61And the Minute, Joaquin Torres skillfully passed to Djordje Mihajlovic in 6 metres. He sent the latter with his right foot towards the middle, and allowed Laci Lapalainen to pass… and the ball found Kony near the penalty area. lively. 3-0.

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“Honestly, I don’t even know what to say,” Kony told CF Montreal. It was amazing. My friends, my family came. I felt very good. […] I can’t describe the feeling, it’s a lot of emotions at once. »

“We have to write a story for this club.”

Arriving at the club only on Friday, striker Kei Kamara replaced Kyoto in the 75th minuteAnd the. We also saw defender Alistair Johnston for the first time in Montreal. The Canada international was troubled by COVID-19 until last week.

The ultras, who oppose changing the club’s identity, had announced before the meeting that they would not be present in this match or the next.

At the end of the match, the 1642 bell was heard for long minutes after the final whistle. Montreal players celebrated and waved to the fans from the stadium to the stands.

Wilfried Nancy knows that this victory his club wanted.

I haven’t checked my cell phone yet, but I know they are happy. this is the most important. […] At the player level, I often tell them that we want to go as high as possible. We have to build a history for the club. That’s what we did tonight. »

In the quarter-finals, CF Montreal will face the series winner between Hamiltons Forge, in the Champions League, and Cruz Azul, another Mexican club. Hamilton lost 1-0 in the first leg at home and will travel to Mexico on Thursday for the second leg.

Montreal will begin the MLS season at 1 p.m. on Sunday against Orlando City in Florida.

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