Wilfried Nancy appeared at the Audi Stadium on Sunday night lacking many important elements in his squad. After the match, he was at a loss for words to explain another setback in his team, in circumstances which he saw had become a bit repetitive.
CF Montreal played its fifth game in a row without a win, losing 2-1 to DC United.
Already making sure he can’t count on Rommel Koyoto and Lacey Lapalainen (injured), nor on Kiki Struna, Rudy Camacho and Victor Wanyama (suspended), Wilfried Nancy was forced to call in rookie goalkeeper Sebastian Briza to defend his team’s net in this ‘six-point game’ .
The gesture became necessary following the news, announced by the team an hour before the match began, that goalkeeper James Bantames had been exposed to MLS’ COVID-19 protocol, making him suddenly unavailable for this duel.
According to Nancy, the team was informed of the news on Saturday. Incidentally, the technical director of CF Montreal said that Pantemis was doing well, and that the team had to wait for things to happen.
Relief in Pantemis, 23-year-old Briza showed pretty things. However, he was unable to stop Andy Najjar in the 40th minute, and Ola Kamara in the 54th minute scored the net.
Camara’s goal was his sixth in his last five encounters.
“Sebastian is the one who takes things calmly. He was ready, stopped a few times. Were there times he could have done better? I don’t know, I have to watch the match again. But from what I remember so far, he did what he had to do.” Nancy analyzed.
On the night of the premiere, Briza wasn’t too nervous, she admitted.
“I thought I would feel something special, but I found it a bit like a workout. (…) I felt ready. I knew the game I had to do,” he said.
Zachary Broult-Gillard, at the start of the first half, gave the lead to CF Montreal (6-7-5), who had not won since July 17.
However, according to Nancy, the Montreal team could have made the game out of reach of its rivals within the first 45 minutes of play.
During the last quarter of the match, Mathieu Chouiner missed the goal while Sanusi Ibrahim had two scoring chances that he didn’t know how to exploit either.
“Really, in the first half, we have to kill the match. If we kill the match in the first half, it won’t be the same,” Nancy said first.
“After that, in the second half, I don’t have much to say. I have to watch the match again. I try to stay calm but I’m upset that it’s kind of the same scenario every time. It’s annoying to be polite. If we don’t kill matches, And if we don’t progress on our mistakes, it’s hard to win.”
After this result, the Montreal team remained in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, one point behind Columbus Crew. As for DC United (8-7-3), they increased their lead over Wilfried Nancy’s men to four points.
Montreal will return to its fans next Saturday night as it faces the New York Red Bulls, another team that looks like Montreal will compete for a place in the upcoming playoffs.
CF Montreal under assault
Backed by a four-game unbeaten run and facing a special squad of several title holders, DC United’s players conquered the CF Montreal district from the very first moments of the match.
After 15 minutes of play, they attempted five shots towards Breza, including four shots on target that the young goalkeeper from Ottawa had saved with confidence, while the Montreal side generated nothing in attack.
Then, after 16 minutes of play, DC United fell 1-0. Brault-Guillard directed a lobed ball that passed through the left hand of goalkeeper John Kempin, who had moved forward.
“It was more than luck. I wanted to cross for ‘Sunu’ (Sunusi Ibrahim), I put it on so strong. It worked for me. I admit I was lucky in this.
That goal slowed DC United’s enthusiasm, but it wasn’t enough for the Montreal team to keep their lead.
After a free kick by Julian Grissel, Carpenter, who was posted in the center of the penalty area, turned the ball with his head to the left of Briza, who could not help it.
DC United started the second half the same way they started the game, and this time the reward was quick.
Assisted by Joaquin Torres in the defensive third, Camara scored his 10th goal of the season with a shot that beat Breza to his left, despite the Montreal goalkeeper’s relegation.
Montreal were limited to two shots in the net during the last 45 minutes of play, none of which hit the target.