Do not kidding, CF Montreal is not a power of the circuit. But what he proved on Wednesday night against Nashville SC is that with the right game plan, he can stand up to the biggest.
We are starting to know him, the DNA of the Impact in 2023 sauce. Dominating at home, a clear collective effort and an imperial defense. Once again, this recipe took hold and the Montrealers won 1-0 at Stade Saputo in another inspired performance in front of their fans.
Thus, the Bleu-blanc-noir extended its series of shutouts – and incidentally of victories – to six in MLS at home. By the way, only the Kansas City Wizards managed, in 2000, to achieve such a feat in the Garber circuit. The sequence can even be pushed to eight, if we include the Canadian Championship. To say that the club is intractable at home is almost an understatement.
“Everyone has worked hard to get here,” said long-time captain’s armband Victor Wanyama. From attackers to defenders, everyone contributes. […] Now we also have to do it on the road. »
There it is, the Achilles heel of this team: they struggle to pick up points on the road. Only 4 points have been amassed on the road in 10 games. That’s not too bad considering the club still have 9 of their last 16 games to play at home. It becomes worrisome when you consider that if the club makes it into the playoffs, it will probably have to go play on the road, given its ranking.
However, this home victory has a little more exciting flavor than the others. It is sprinkled with a small warning that the Montreal club can compete with the tenors of the circuit.
The Country Music City team is a bit like Morgan Wallen, they keep dominating the charts these days. She hadn’t been defeated in her last 10 games and her star Hany Mukhtar keeps filling the net. Now the CFM has put an end to this series of invincibility by muzzling the German. That, too, is not ugly.
“They’re a very strong team,” summed up CFM head coach Hernán Losada after the game. “Three points are even more important against a team as good as Nashville. »
The starting XI that Losada came up with looked awfully like a finished product. It must be said that the 10-day break was beneficial, because the efforts were there, as was the cohesion.
For a long time, the Argentinian driver tried to find an effective formula, especially in front. What the trio of Bryce Duke, Sunusi Ibrahim and Mason Toye offered was interesting. When attack and defense contribute to success, the team does well. Nevertheless, it is often the offense that falls flat, but the conclusive performances of these three players give a glimmer of hope to find stability in the attacking third.
Losada does not see things exactly the same way. He doesn’t want to have his hands tied by a starting XI.
This esprit de corps is what is carrying this team at the moment.
This is what Pierre-Luc Dubois, Winnipeg Jets forward, said at halftime, present at Saputo Stadium to see his favorite sport. “They were compact and used the corridors well,” Dubois told La Presse, proving his fine knowledge of the subject.
He was accompanied by Montreal Canadiens defenseman David Savard (his former Columbus teammate); the two were very popular and took several shots with a lot of happy fellows.
A successful evening all the way. A success on the lawn and in the stands.
Sometimes listing the name of the rising scorer can be a little easy and show some bias depending on the outcome, in Duke’s case, a goal. However, he was dynamic and did not hesitate to get on the field with the ball at his feet to find openings and he showed good cohesion with his former teammate in Miami, Ariel Lassiter. An encouraging performance after a relative slump.
Not the most convincing game for the centre-back. The Canadian put opponents on the line on two occasions that led to chances for Nashville and the duo of Jacob Shaffelburg and Mukhtar gave him a hard time. After the game, he said he was “upset” that he hadn’t been chosen to represent the Maple Leaf in the upcoming Gold Cup. This performance did not help convince national team head coach John Herdman that he had made a mistake in not calling him up.
Number of minutes that have elapsed at Stade Saputo since the last goal of a rival team. Sounds like a lot? That’s nearly 13 hours of gameplay or five trips from Montreal to Quebec. That’s actually time to catch up on podcasts.