It is well known that duels between CF Montreal and Toronto FC always give life to sparks. On Sunday, fans gathered at BMO Field were more entitled to a bonfire, as the Montreal team triumphed 4-3.
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Emotions, physical play and goals, many goals: this is the recipe for a winning derby between two sworn enemies. Furthermore, the stakes were high for the visitors, who dealt a heavy blow to the Torontonians in their quest to reach the Major League Soccer (MLS) playoffs.
Wilfried Nancy’s men have once again proven their ineffable tenacity on the road after experiencing the worst start imaginable. In doing so, they raised their tally to 52 points, eclipsing the 2015 team record (51).
Two goals down after seven short minutes, CF Montreal readjusted and calmed the game ahead of bewildered Toronto FC as their lead vanished like snow in the sun.
“She is historical [cette victoire]commented Nancy. I didn’t have time to put them back into play: they did it themselves. They wanted to show that this is a team (…) who want to have fun in the game and in the battle.
“It was amazing to come back from behind,” added Alistair Johnston. It felt like the walls were closing in on us and the crowd was very involved. But we are a tough team to beat, regardless of the score. We have remained faithful to our identity “.
Kamal Miller kicked the ball off in the 19th minute using a throwback from Kei Kamara. Skillfully maneuvering to the edge of the penalty area, the Montrealers obsessed with Toronto’s defense and took advantage of a breach to open their counterattack.
“It was great,” Miller said of his first goal in his hometown. It was even better to do it in front of many friends and family ”.
A man of great occasions, Kamara was one of the most important architects of the comeback, both in attack and in terms of effort. According to Nancy, he “ran everywhere to help the team”.
Kamara gave his team the lead just before halftime by winning the duel against Chris Mavinga and putting the ball between Alex Bono’s legs.
Accomplice of the winning network was also the third top scorer in the history of the MLS. He deflects a perfect Romell Quioto cross in Johnston’s direction with a header, and the Canadian defender asks for nothing more to thread the needle.
Before that, Djordje Mihailovic showed his excellent form to create the draw. His powerful shot, several paces from the penalty area, gave Bono no chance and silenced the Toronto home.
A few minutes before the final whistle, Lorenzo Insigne hit the target for the second time in the match. The Italian international did not even celebrate his success, aware that the outcome of the match was already marked.
Before finding his peace of mind, the Bleu-Blanc-Noir looked like a tourist on the Toronto FC lawn.
Quebecer Samuel Piette struggled particularly in the first few minutes. For the first time he opened the doors of Toronto’s first goal by committing a foul in the penalty area. The video replay sent Federico Bernardeschi to the ‘penalty’, and the former Juventus player did not miss the chance.
Two minutes later Piette deflected a cross directly onto Insigne’s foot and the striker scored 2-0 with a spectacular volley.
Repentignois, however, recovered and showed self-denial over the next 83 minutes, performing their role beautifully by closing the door in the middle of the pitch with Victor Wanyama.
The stars then lined up for CF Montreal. According to Miller, the proper preparation of his people and the poor management of the match of the men in red paved the way for a “remontada”.
“The way this championship is done, when you’re down 2-0, you can’t rest on your laurels,” Miller said. Also in this phase of the game, the leaders of our team have been very positive. We knew we would have opportunities to bridge the gap.
“The more Toronto FC got tired, the stronger we got.”
CF Montreal will return home on Friday to welcome the Columbus Crew.