TORONTO – Wilfried Nancy and the CF Montreal players will now be able to devote all their energies to MLS activities.
Defending Canadian champions were eliminated in the semi-finals of the national tournament on Wednesday night following a stinging 4-0 loss to Toronto FC at BMO Field.
Ayo Akinola drove the first nails into the coffin for CF Montreal by scoring Toronto FC’s first two goals, one in each of the two halves against James Pantemis.
Then within three minutes during the last quarter of the second half, Jesus Jimenez and Alejandro Pozuelo sealed the fate of CF Montreal.
“We had a good first half. Before their first goal, I think we were pretty good. We had good chances but we didn’t finish our actions,” said Nancy.
“We are going to watch the game. The advantage we have is that we move quickly to our (next) match. Of course we will look at all that. There are things that haven’t been good tonight, especially in the second half. »
CF Montreal was of course deprived of the services of Mihailovic, with a knee injury, and if he had been healthy, it’s a safe bet that he would have participated in this semi-final match. But he wasn’t there and for that reason Nancy didn’t want to talk about the impact of his absence.
“I’m not talking about absentees. I’m not used to talking about absentees. He’s not in now. The idea is to continue to play our game. We do it a little less at the level of the last third but once again, there were opportunities. If we are more skilful in the penalty area in the first half, we score goals, ”said Nancy.
“Djordje is not here, I will not talk about him, repeated Nancy. When he’s back, he’ll be back. For the moment, he is not there. We adjust to the players who are on the pitch and we will find the solution. »
With this triumph, Toronto FC will advance to the Grand Final of the Canadian Championship, on a date to be determined in July. He will face the Vancouver Whitecaps, who defeated Canadian Premier League club York United 2-1, later on Wednesday. Brian White scored both of his goals in the win.
For its part, CF Montreal will be back in MLS mode when it faces Charlotte FC on Saturday at Saputo Stadium.
Toronto stands out
It didn’t take long to see scoring chances. After three minutes, each of the two formations had attempted a shot. Even before the first minute was over, Jayden Nelson was able to infiltrate the right flank of the Montreal defense and make a quality shot that ended up on the vertical shoot to the left of Pantemis. Then, during the third minute of play, it was Samuel Piette’s turn to threaten Quentin Westberg’s fortress, but his shot flew over the horizontal bar.
However, for the next 35 minutes, offensive action was scarce until Toronto struck almost unexpectedly in the 40th minute.
After CF Montreal’s rough play in the central zone, Toronto FC was able to orchestrate a push into Montreal territory. Akinola finished the sequence by deflecting a pass from Luca Petrasso into the back of the net, despite Pantemis diving to his left.
From then on, the Toronto FC players dominated the game until the final whistle of the first half. Pantemis had to stop shots from Nelson and Akinola, the first in the 44th minute and the second during stoppage time.
Without forgetting the beautiful slide of Rudy Camacho in the penalty area to deprive Nelson of another chance to score, a few moments earlier.
Nancy started the second half by sending Kei Kamara and Ahmed Hamdi into the fray to replace Zorhan Bassong and Mathieu Choinière respectively.
However, it was Toronto FC who would score the next goal. Once again, Akinola found the back of the net with a right-footed shot from outside the penalty area in the 54th minute.
Jimenez and Pozuelo destroyed the last hopes that could remain in the Montreal camp by touching the target in the 75th and 78th minutes respectively.