CF Montreal and NYCFC battle to a draw on an emotional Saturday night

CF Montreal and NYCFC battle in Montreal, Quebec

MONTREAL, QC – CF Montreal and NYCFC battled at Saputo Stadium. Montreal held the defending MLS champs, NYCFC, to a 0-0 draw on an emotional Saturday night where they paid tribute to their former player and assistant coach Jason Di Tullio who passed away on Friday after a long battle with brain cancer.

CF Montreal and NYCFC battle on an emotional night

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Another good start for the home team

CF Montreal went straight to work right off the opening kickoff as they once again looked for that early goal in the opening minute of the game. They started putting immense pressure on the visitors who looked on the back foot. It was actually the visitors who got the opening shot on target as Tayvon Gray attempted a cross on target but it went right into the hands of James Pantemis.

Montreal responded on the ensuing play as Romell Quioto tested Sean Johnson, the NYCFC goalkeeper, but he was able to make the save. Djordje Mihailovic attempted a shot on target in the 25-minute but it curled right into the hands of Johnson who made the save once again.

Mihalovic had another amazing scoring chance in the 42nd minute but the shot went off Johnson’s foot and went out of bounds. After a first half where there weren’t a lot of scoring chances from both teams, they went to the locker room deadlocked at 0-0.

Both teams battle to the end

10 minutes into the second half the game was getting dicey as Montreal got two solid chances but was unable to finish or capitalize on their chances. Pantemis came up with a huge save off a free kick in the 61st minute as he swatted the ball with his hand.

Both teams were going at it and into the 72-minute, the game was still without a goal and heading towards a potential draw. Head coach Wilfried Nancy made two changes seven minutes later taking out Mason Toye and Lassi Lappalianen for Kei Kamara and Mathieu Choniere.

Nancy made two more changes in the 82-minute taking out Mihailovic for Joaquin Torres and Samuel Piette for Ismael Kone. After three minutes of added time, the final whistle blew and the game finished in a 0-0 draw.

Nancy pleased with the effort as CF Montreal battle NYCFC to a draw

Head coach Wilfried Nancy was happy with his team’s performance despite not scoring and spoke about the mindset going into the game.

” Our mindset was to stay on task and we had to stay intense during the game not just physically but mentally as well and continue to push and tonight we had a good performance with the ball and the defensive aspect and they did it well and we did a good job attacking”.

Piette was happy with the team’s performance despite the results

Samuel Piette was happy with the way his team played despite not being able to get the win and was pleased with the performance because he feels the team never gave up.

” It’s a tough loss for us, I think we had to honor Jason today and I told the guys before the game we just need to go out there and show the mentality that he had on the pitch and I think that’s what we did and I am happy with the effort and there was a lot of positive”.

Kamal Miller “It was tough for the whole group”

Kamal Miller spoke about the difficulty of playing a game less than 24 hours after losing one of their coaches.

” It was hard leading up to the game knowing how loved he was by the team, club, and city of Montreal and he meant a lot to me because when I first signed here he was the first one who reached out and we worked together in the off-season and we had a relationship and to see him struggle was difficult for sure”.

This is the fifth time in club history that CF Montreal has held a team to zero shots on target. The last time was August 2012 and it was the second consecutive sell-out crowd at Saputo Stadium. The team will now travel to Columbus to face the Crew on Wednesday night before flying home to host Inter Miami on Saturday. CF Montreal is now unbeaten in their last three games with previous wins against D.C. United and Canadian Classique rivals, Toronto FC.