Montreal beats Orlando in MLS Cup playoff thriller, advances to next round

Montreal beats Orlando in MLS Cup playoff thriller, advances to next round

CF Montreal advanced to the next round of MLS Cup playoffs after a 2-0 win over Orlando City on Sunday night.

The team will now face the winner of Monday’s match between New York City FC and Inter Miami in the conference semi-finals at the Stade Saputo next Sunday.

Ismail Cooney and Djordje Mihailovic were the scorers for the big win for Montreal. Cone scored in the 68th minute, while Mihailovic added insurance with a fine penalty in stoppage time.

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Orlando City started the game with a surprisingly low block, accepting long possessions and making sure not to lose their shape. This is a tactic used by many teams that play Montreal on the road, with the most lucrative results waiting for the break.

Montreal found success on the edge, advancing to Orlando’s final third, but couldn’t make the goal.

At the 20-minute mark, there was the first penalty of the game, when Cooney went down in the box. The referee immediately waved it off, to the dismay of the sold-out Stade Saputo crowd.

Orlando took advantage of its first — and arguably best — chance of the opening frame just moments later. A failed offside trap left Erkan Cara in goal but he put his shot over James Pantemis and the bar.

In the final minutes of the half, Montreal found more officiating controversy when Lassi Lippalinen went down in the box. The referee once again waved the match on, further infuriating the crowd.

The half would be far from over as Orlando had another golden opportunity just seconds later, but Antonio Carlos was unable to convert the ball, only to be sent wide from a few yards out.

The second half was more of the same, with Orlando cutting deep and denying them any access to the penalty area. Their wall would finally be broken before 69 minutes when a series of quick passes led to Mihailovic finding Kony wide open, who made no mistake.

Montreal put the game out of reach when Mihailovic went down in the box in the 90th minute and sent the penalty into the bottom right corner.

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