CF Montreal: a major challenge

CF Montreal: a major challenge


It was difficult against Orlando last Sunday, and it will be even more difficult this Sunday for CF Montreal against New York City FC, which has always given them trouble.

The Bleu-blanc-noir may have finished second in the Eastern Conference with 65 points, ten more than its visitors of the day, but it will have to exorcise a demon to win on Sunday afternoon, because the NYCFC has never lost at Stade Saputo (4-0-2).

But we can make the numbers say what we want, so we're going to have fun with a statistic that suits us. CF Montreal has a record of five wins in as many playoff games at Stade Saputo.

Want more? In those five games, the Montrealers scored ten goals against three and trailed for only four minutes; it was against the Columbus Crew in 2015.

We will mention, however, that New York has not lost in its last four road playoff games, with three of those games reaching the session of shots on goal.

Not pretty

For some reason, New York City is a veritable pet peeve for the Montrealers, who are 2-9-5 against the team du Bronx.

This year, the New Yorkers won 4-1 at Yankee Stadium at the start of the season and tied 0-0 at Stade Saputo in the heart of the summer.

“In the first match against them, it was not pretty and we had a little difficulty at home, admitted Djordje Mihailovic on Friday. It's our third game against them, we're going to have to change things and surprise them a bit. I think they expect something from us, but you have to offer them something different to win.”

Could the solution be to return to the starting lineup of Romell Quioto, whose last departure dates back to September 27? He is in any case recovered from his thigh injury.

“He was part of the group last week. There, he is much better so depending on how things are going, he will be operational. We'll see how we're going to use it,” said Wilfried Nancy on Friday.


New York City has great offensive qualities, despite the loss of Argentinian Taty Castellanos during the summer.

However, it is a training that is more complete than it looks. They are also able to shine in the defensive game and they can certainly oppose high pressure to disturb the Montreal game pattern.

“  combine well. The last time we played against them, they were more defensive,” Nancy first noted.

“Did it be us who gave them problems compared to that or if they are the ones who chose it? I do not know. It's a different game. ”


While Montreal defeated Orlando 2-0 in the first round, the New Yorkers took on the other Florida team by beating Inter Miami CF 3-0 at Citi Field, as the Yankees were using Yankee Stadium.

Last Sunday, Orlando was particularly effective in ruining the lives of Montrealers, in particular by continually breaking the rhythm of the game. This is a strategy that we could review on Sunday, according to Djordje Mihailovic.

“They had a good game against Miami and they'll probably try to give us a hard time mentally, a bit like Orlando did, but they're also really good with the ball so it's going to be a different game.  ;”

“It is difficult to put into words the opportunity that presents itself to us, continued Mihailovic. Few players have the opportunity to experience playoff victories and especially to experience the kind of team we have and the atmosphere in our locker room. » 

5-point opponent


With a 3-0 win over Miami in the first round, New York City FC have won their last four games, but not everything has been rosy since just before that, the team had a streak of games in which they collected only five points and scored only ten goals. 


Bad news for CF Montreal: the formidable 20-year-old Brazilian forward, Talles Magno, will be back in the NYCFC roster. The young nugget has seven goals and ten assists in 34 games.


New York City FC looked for a long time when Taty Castellanos left with his thirteen goals in mid-July. Gabriel Pereira took over with five goals, the only player to score more than three goals since leaving.


New Yorkers were especially starved against Miami in the first round. They fired no less than 27 shots, 9 of which were on target. We are far from the game without a shot on target for James Pantemis last week. He'll have a lot to do on Sunday.


New York City is very balanced on offense and defense. They scored 29 goals in the first half and 28 in the second half. They allowed 21 in the first 45 minutes and 20 in the next 45. 

Wilfried Nancy took notes

This will be the third meeting between these two clubs this season, and CF Montreal has still not won. Are the stars aligned? We will find out somewhere between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

What we do know is that Wilfried Nancy took notes during the first two meetings and that he carefully kept them .

“We are based on what we have done, he explained on Friday. We lost the first match 4 to 1, we were coming back from Mexico, it was complicated, we had done a lot of hours [on the road]. We deserved to come back to the score, we had a lot of chances.

“I loved the state of mind. I remember that at half-time I got annoyed with the players, but at the end of the match, I told them that was what we wanted.  »


After this first meeting at the start of the season, the two teams met again at Stade Saputo in July, in a very different meeting that ended 0 to 0.

« During the game at home, we had a good match, remembers Nancy. We didn't score a goal, but we were happy because we know he's the defending champion.”

If he mentions the championship won in the final last year , it's definitely not because of an inferiority complex.

“The fact that they are champions does not change anything, we know that we are going to face a good opponent. We respect them, but we are not afraid of them. »

Advantage or not?

Have you ever seen a local game? New York City FC at Yankee Stadium? It's confusing because of all the visible traces of the baseball field, and that's not to mention the fact that it's the smallest surface in MLS.

Opposite , CF Montreal plays on the largest field in the league, which can give the Bleu-blanc-noir a small advantage. But we are talking about a very small advantage which is negligible, according to Nancy.

“As their ground is particular, we note the animations whether offensive or defensive. We know that we will have a little more time because our field is a little bigger. 

For his preparation, he admits that he does not watch many games played at Yankee Stadium.< /p>

“We always watch more away games than at home when they come home and then we adjust. “