MONTREAL – Let’s face it, we’re never at our peak when we come back from vacation. We see what’s left on voicemail, we clean up the emails, we stop at every door to give and take updates. It’s five o’clock and we end up telling ourselves that we’re really going to get back to work on Tuesday morning.
CF Montreal delivered the football equivalent of a relaxed Monday night at the Stade Saputo. And it might get him a little visit to the boss’s office! When he returned to the pitch after a 20-day break, he was tricked by Austin FC and suffered an embarrassing 1-0 loss.
Embarrassing especially because the Montreal team played half the game with player advantage. At ten o’clock the guests had to admit defeat after midfielder Daniel Pereira was sent off in the 45th minute with a yellow carde Minute.
And to add insult to injury, it was Maxi Urruti, the fans’ whipping boy par excellence during his time at the club in 2019 and 2020, who scored the killer goal. The Argentine scored his fifth goal of the season after beating two defenders from a Jon Gallagher cross in the 67e Minute.
Far from being lashed out by that warning, the Montrealers nearly took a second slap four minutes later when top scorer Sebastian Driussi almost sent a cross well to the far post.
Coach Wilfried Nancy reacted immediately with a triple change. Romell Quioto, Alistair Johnston and Ahmed Hamdi came on as reinforcements but their input wasn’t enough to turn the tide.
At the 85the Minute Quioto stuttered with a ball at the feet of goalkeeper Brad Stuver but could never finish it.
During the fifty minutes he spent at 11-a-side, the local club framed a shot fewer than their visitors. Over the entire game, only two of his eleven attempts at the opposing net were on target. These came from the foot of Kei Kamara, who, contrary to his habit, lacked finish in the opposing area.
Above all, Kamara will blame himself for a missed opportunity in the 53e minute when a ball that should have been intercepted by a defender flew to him from under the penalty spot. Surprised, the large attacker could not react before Cerberus stole the coveted object.
“Football is like that. If you don’t punish, you will be punished,” Nancy said after the meeting.
“We lacked a bit of the killer instinct,” observed Samuel Piette, who was replaced by Ismaël Koné at half-time. We had our chances but we’re disappointed with the result. You have to win your games at home, even more so when you play a team from the West. This is the second time this has happened to us. Plus with an extra man for a full half you can’t lose those points. »
The absence of several regulars from the starting XI did not help CF Montreal. Djordje Mihailovic, who injured his knee in training this week, was not in uniform. Matko Miljevic got the arrest warrant in his place. Kamal Miller was unavailable in defense and was replaced by Gabriele Corbo.
Lassi Lappalainen, just out of COVID protocol, and Sunusi Ibrahim (ankle) were also unable to play.
CF Montreal will play three games in the next eleven days. He will first contest the Canadian Championship semi-finals in Toronto on Wednesday and then return home to host Charlotte FC on Saturday. He will then head to Seattle for his first game on the road since May 18th.
“It’s going to be a complicated schedule, Samuel Piette expects. Of course it would have been nice to start the game with three points, we know how important home games are. But it’s up to the players to take care of them because there will be rotations, we will need everyone. »