Three Takeaways: CF Montreal’s Impressive Form Continues

MLS: Canadian Championship Quarterfinals-Cf Montreal at Toronto FC as CF Montreal’s Impressive Form Continues

TORONTO, ON – CF Montreal’s impressive form continues as they have now won five games in all competitions. In the process, they eliminated their biggest rivals, Toronto FC on the road at BMO Field. What was most impressive was that Montreal found a way to score the first two goals of the game and for most of the game looked like the better team.

CF Montreal’s Impressive Form Continues as They Won at BMO Field

Three Keys to the Game

Toronto FC Had Chances They Did Not Take Advantage Of

Toronto FC started off the game well as Mark Anthony-Kaye had a shot that was off-target. There was also Brandon Servania’s shot, which went straight to the CF Montreal goalkeeper. A lot of chances Toronto FC had involved Richie Laryea in some form or another.

  • Lorenzo Insigne’s shot in the 86-minute was stopped by the CF Montreal goalkeeper.
  • Richie Laryea passed the ball to C.J. Sapong but was unable to get control of the ball and lost the opportunity to possibly score from very close range.

There was another chance that TFC had where Laryea headed the ball to Sapong. It looked like Sapong might have been fouled inside the box as he was being pulled. However, the call was not called and TFC did not generate enough scoring chances.

CF Montreal Closed Out the Game

As important as those two goals were scored late in the first half, it was how CF Montreal closed the game that was really impressive. Some examples include:

  • Lorenzo Insigne’s shot was blocked by CF Montreal’s defensive wall.
  • CF Montreal did not give Toronto FC many scoring chances late in the game.

Yes, there was a factor that Toronto FC did not look sharp, especially in the latter stages of the game. However, some of that had to do with CF Montreal. Even when Montreal turned over the ball, they were able to prevent TFC from getting scoring chances. The fact also that throughout the whole game, TFC only had three shots, Montreal had something to do with that.

The Toronto FC Defence Needs to Improve

In two games, Toronto FC gave up four goals at home. For a team that spends as much money as Toronto FC, that is not up to expectations. The two goals TFC conceded also cannot be something that happens often, otherwise, they will not make the MLS Cup Playoffs.

  • The first goal was scored when Toronto FC was attacking deep in CF Montreal’s half. Montreal counterattacked, Romell Quioto had a breakaway, which was stopped by Sean Johnson. A Montreal player was taken down in what would have been a penalty. However, there was no need for a penalty called as Zachary Brault-Guillard scored the first goal of the game.
  • The second goal started from a Toronto FC throw-in. TFC did not look desperate to get the ball in their half and they paid for it.
  • Lassi Lappalainen found Mathieu Choiniere, who was able to put the ball into the back of the net.

Montreal almost made the game 3-0 as Romell Quioto’s shot in the centre of the box went wide. It was a period of bad decisions made by TFC that cost them the game.

This is what Bob Bradley, head coach of TFC, said about the game (source: OneSoccer)

“Between Aime (Mabika) and Sigurd (Rosted) I didn’t think we defended the crosses well.”

Now, this team’s goal of making the MLS Cup Playoffs is still very much in sight. It is the opinion of this writer that the defence was going to initially struggle because of chemistry, even though it does need to get better.

Game Overview

CF Montreal has now won five games in all competitions. After having some heavy losses, including the 4-0 loss against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place earlier this year, the team looks like they are back on track. They will now face Forge FC in the Canadian Championship semi-finals stage at Saputo Stadium.

As for Toronto FC, this is what Bob Bradley said about the game (source: OneSoccer):

“Decent enough start then we lose (give up) those two goals,” Bradley said. “We pushed hard in the second half, and then we are back at certain moments quality of crosses, touches at the end, that kind of stuff, still unable to make some big chances. Good effort though.”

As for TFC, after also losing against the New England Revolution, will need to find a way to regroup. As seen with Montreal, a season can start turning around once you get a few wins in a row. There is still time, but it is still left to be determined if Toronto FC takes advantage of it. As for this game specifically, Richie Laryea was probably TFC’s best player as he was able to generate scoring chances for his team. The positive fans can also take is Insigne had a good game on Tuesday. Hopefully, he can take this positive performance and continue to improve his form for games later in MLS. This game also means that Montreal returned the favour after getting eliminated in the 2022 Canadian Championship by TFC.

READ MORE: Toronto FC vs CF Montreal Predictions on May 9, 2023

The Off-The-Field Drama at BMO Field

There are two fights that will be outlined in this article. One is the fight that happened in the away section between CF Montreal and Toronto FC fans. The other is the verbal fight between the fan(s) and Kaye, which resulted in a fan throwing a megaphone after the game.

All of these incidents resulted in CF Montreal having the away supporters’ section closed for the Saturday game against TFC. This was really unfortunate and did not need to happen. Some people relax with television. For others, especially sports fanatics, sports are a way to forget about the realities of life and enjoy some time having fun. Also, this probably ruined the game for others, who just wanted to go and have a fun time at the Canadian Championship.

It is the opinion of this writer that the Toronto FC-CF Montreal is the best rivalry in MLS and the Canadian Championship. However, one is only putting a bad name on the rivalry if fights continue to happen like this. As for the Kaye incident, that was also inexcusable. throwing a goal horn on the field should never happen. If he hit Kaye or misaimed it and hit a fan, the consequences might have been more serious.

Games Coming Up For Both Teams

Both Toronto FC and CF Montreal will play again against each other on Saturday at Saputo Stadium. That game will take place on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET (kick-off at 7:39 p.m. ET). That Canadian Classique game will be shown live on Apple TV. Both teams are tied with 12 points apiece, but Montreal has played one less game than Toronto.

TFC will host the New York Red Bulls on May 17 and D.C. United on May 27. Both those games at BMO Field will be at 7:30 p.m. ET They also play in Austin to face Austin FC on May 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET. This is while CF Montreal plays two games on the road. The first one is against FC Cincinnati at 7:30 p.m. ET on May 17, and then they travel to Red Bull Arena to face the New York Red Bulls. Montreal then has a home Canadian Championship game against Forge FC on May 23 which will be shown on OneSoccer and Telus. Like the Canadian Classique game, the other MLS games will be shown live on Apple TV.


Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports on May 9, 2023, of a Federico Bernardeschi Headshot and a Lassi Lappalainen Headshot.