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MLS: Ofor and Quioto save honors, first victory for CF Montreal


MONTREAL – Of all the imaginable ways to end a lethargy, CF Montreal could not have found a more exciting way.

After 90 minutes of regulation play, the narrative framework in preparation was even more consoling, that of scoring the long-awaited first goal since the start of the season. Then Hernan Losada’s men scored twice in stoppage time, as they knocked out the Philadelphia Union 3-2 and snapped in euphoria a three-game losing streak.

Chinonso Offor first created Equality after a sequence that was revised not once, but twice on video reruns. Then, in the eleventh hour, Rommel Kooto scored his second goal of the game for Lincé on the stands.

Union coach Jim Curtin spoke of a chaotic end to the game which he summed up succinctly with a term that is unwise to translate in these pages. Not surprisingly, Losada had a more rosy reading of this totally crazy ending to dating.

“It’s hard to explain, but I think the best answer is that this is football,” said the coach after his first victory at the helm of the club. That’s why fans come to the stadium, and that’s why it’s the best sport in the world. It’s for parties like tonight. This is the explanation. »

However, this evening was not so memorable for Lozada when, after a long conversation with the video assistant, referee Nima El Saghafi denied the equalizer in Montreal on the pretext that its starter was in an offside position.

The decision sparked outrage in the Montreal camp. In a press briefing, Victor Wanyama explained that the camera angle obtained by the coaching staff on the bench made it possible to see the Al Ittihad defender positioned in such a way as to ration the construction of the goal. The captain reported the information to the officials, who verified and eventually approved it.

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About two hours after the game ended, officials confirmed this explanation in response to an official request for clarification from the media in attendance.

“I can’t say much because, frankly, I haven’t seen the footage,” Losada said. I’ve just heard people tell me it wasn’t offside, that a Philadelphia player was on the line, near the corner point. It is believed that the VAR did not see it the first time. We are human, we all make mistakes, but luckily for us and the beauty of the sport, they came back and made the right decision. »

“I have never seen anything like this in my whole life,” he said sadly. In all this chaos, I didn’t even know what we were trying to pinpoint on screen because for some reason I’ll never explain to him, referees don’t have to justify their decisions to us. »

Minutes later, Quioto scored a fine cross from Mathieu Choinière to give the men in gray their first win of the campaign. The versatile Quebec midfielder is set up with the third most appearances, and has been directly involved in all three of his team’s goals.

CFM’s top scorer in each of the past three seasons, Quioto scored the first goal of the match in the third minute. By converting a penalty kick, the Honduran forward ended a collective drought of 272 minutes without a goal.

Mikael Ehr’s brace in the first quarter of the second half put the visitors in control. His first goal was the result of a huge error by Nathan Saliba near his penalty area. His second goal came on the end of a counterattack as the Montreal defense was bypassed.

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“We started the second half very badly, obviously,” Losada agreed. We conceded a goal after 30 seconds because of a mistake that can happen from a young player. And not giving up is what matters today.”

Montreal played on a power play of 69H A minute, when the opposing striker Julian Carranza’s second yellow card appeared. On paper, however, the chances of the Council of Foreign Ministers drawing such a conclusion before the meeting begins should be considered slim.

With the exception of the goaltending position, where veteran Joe Bendik replaced a paralyzed Andre Blake, the Association fielded the same roster that helped them reach the MLS Cup final last fall. Faced with this settling in, CF Montreal fielded a 19-year-old rookie (Saliba) and two freshmen in Reda Zuhair and Mason Tui. Lassi Lappalainen, who had diminished physically and was used to patrolling the left lane, was used as a right back.

Defender Kamal Miller, whose absence was confirmed by Losada in the middle of the week, was in his position at the heart of the defence. Samuel Peet and Aaron Herrera were not in uniform for this last game before the first international break of the season.

CF Montreal will return to action at 1any April in Vancouver.