CF Montreal defeats defending champion NYCFC in MLS Cup playoff

CF Montreal defeats defending champion NYCFC in MLS Cup playoff

CF Montreal’s postseason run ended Sunday with a 3-1 loss to defending MLS Cup champion New York City FC in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Maximiliano Morales, Haber and Tel Magno all scored for NYCFC who took a 3-0 lead before the home team got on the board.

Djordje Mihajlovic scored the lone goal for Montreal.

It was a nervous start for Montreal, unable to keep more than a few passes on the ball at a time. It would prove costly as Moralez found himself alone in front of an open net after a series of defensive errors and put the visitors ahead after just six minutes.

The mistake seemed to wake up Montreal as the home side began to dominate the ball. Their first chance came just five minutes after conceding when Alastair Johnston found Kai Kamara’s head in the box, forcing a great reaction from New York goalkeeper Shaun Johnson.

Johnston and Kamara would link up again later, with Kamara hitting the post as the home side continued to build pressure on New York’s back line.

Just after the 30-minute mark, Johnson was once again called out for a bail from the NYCFC defense when Ismail Kony got on the end of a cross, prompting another incredible save.

As Montreal continued to press, New York found openings to counter as the first half drew to a close. After winning possession in their own half, Santiago Rodriguez headed home Heber’s late run to double their lead in stoppage time.

In the second half, both teams maintained their style of play, with Montreal dominating for long periods and New York sitting deep and absorbing pressure.

Once again, NYCFC would attack on the counter-attack, after Montreal goalkeeper James Pantemis brought down Gabriel Pereira in the penalty area. Substitute Telemagno would make it 3-0 in the 61st minute and extend the lead.

Montreal pulled one back through Mihajlovic in the 85th minute – his last goal against the Stade Saputo crowd before he left for Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in the winter.

New York will now begin preparations to face the Union in the Eastern Conference Finals on October 30 at Subaru Park in Philadelphia.

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