CF Montreal rallied with four straight goals after falling from 2-0 down to beat Toronto 4-3 in all-action Sunday, TFC’s bid to reach the Major League Soccer playoffs Faced with a body shot.
The game got off to a wild start with goals from Toronto in the fifth and seventh minutes, only for Montreal to respond with goals in the 19th and 21st minutes. Only three games in league history have seen both teams score as many goals rushing, according to StatsPerform, a sports data and analytics company.
Montreal took the lead in the 43rd minute and increased their lead early in the second half.
Kamil Miller, Jord Mihailovic, Kei Kamara and Alistair Johnston scored for Montreal, which led 3-2 after a first half in which the teams combined for seven shots — and scored on five.
Montreal became the first MLS team to overcome a two-goal deficit and lead at halftime since Toronto did it in July 2015 against NYCFC.
Lorenzo Insigne, with two goals, and Federico Bernadeschi responded for Toronto. Insignia’s second goal came in the 93rd minute when the Italian took advantage of a Montreal turnover and headed past goalkeeper James Pantemis in the penalty box before scoring his sixth goal in nine games.
Montreal (16-9-4) entered Sunday’s game in second place in the East, eight spots and 15 points ahead of Toronto (9-14-7).
With the win, Montreal set single-season franchise records for wins (16) and points (52), eclipsing the previous marks of 15 and 49 in 2105 when the team went 15-13-6.
Montreal, one of the league’s best road teams with a 9-4-2 road record, also extended its franchise-record road winning streak to five games. Montreal’s nine wins, 29 goals and 29 points away from home is also a club record.
Time is running out for Toronto, with just four games remaining. And three of those are on the road — in Atlanta, Orlando and Philadelphia. TFC is 2-8-4 away from home this season.
The only remaining game is against Inter Miami on September 30.
There was action on Sunday with Toronto scoring on its first two shots.
It started with Ayo Akinola calling for a penalty in the second minute when he came into contact with Samuel Payet. Referee Alan Chapman initially stopped play but changed his mind after reviewing the play on the pitchside monitor.
Bernadesse converted the spot kick in the fifth minute for his seventh MLS goal — and fourth from the penalty spot — in nine games.
Bernardeschi became only the third player in league history to score in his first five home games in the league. Joe Max Moore and Mamadou Diallo each hit their first six home runs.
Two minutes later, Bernardeschi’s deflected cross found motivation behind the defense and the Italian star, showing perfect timing, fired the ball past Pantemis from close range.
Bernardeschi (seven goals and three assists), Insignia (six goals, two assists) and fellow Italian Cristo (one goal) have accounted for 17 of Toronto’s last 20 goals in MLS action, including 11 of their last 12. .
Miller pulled a goal back in the 19th minute when Kamara’s shot was headed in by Alex Bono. Toronto will easily move the ball after Montreal’s short corner.
Two minutes later, Toronto was caught napping on a quickly taken free kick at midfield. The ball went to Mihajlovic who rose unchallenged into the area before curling a shot outside the penalty box that Bono only got a slice from. It was the eighth of the season for United States international Mihajlovic, who is set to join AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch top flight in January.
Montreal’s Victor Wanyama saved Bono’s embarrassment in the 29th minute when the Toronto goalkeeper failed to meet Mihajlovic’s free kick. The ball went to Wanyama, who faced a low target, sending his header over the crossbar.
The tables turned in the 31st minute when Wanyama tried to beat his goalkeeper in the chest, the ball instead went to Akinola, whose shot went wide.
Kamara’s goal for Montreal in the 34th minute, set up by a good Mihajlovic cross, was called back by a TFC defender for a foul on Rommel Quito.
Things took a turn for the worse in the 43rd minute when Joel Waterman’s long-range pass found Kamara, who took advantage of some sloppy defending by Chris Mawenga to recover the ball, flick it towards goal and the ball into the net. Bono fell between the legs. It was the 38-year-old Kamara’s 136th career goal, third on the league’s all-time scoring list (behind Landon Donovan’s 145 and Chris Wandolowski’s 171).
In the first half stoppage time Insignia just missed with a free kick, seeing the goal hit the bottom of the goal post.
Toronto coach Bob Bradley made two changes at halftime. Midfielder Marc-Anthony Kaye, who has missed the previous seven games with a lower-body injury, and Donnell Henry came in for Jayden Nelson and Mawenga.
The changes didn’t help as Johnston made it 4-2 in the 54th minute, heading home a Kamara cross after Montreal’s second-best ball ever with TFC defenders.
Toronto had chances in the second half but couldn’t convert, with an errant header perhaps the best chance.
Both teams had disappointing results at home in midweek, with Montreal beaten 1-0 by the New York Red Bulls and Toronto losing a two-goal comeback to draw 2-2 with Los Angeles in the 89th minute. did Galaxy.
Before the loss to the Red Bulls, Montreal had gone eight games without a win (6-0-2) – a run that started with a 1-0 win over Toronto and featured four clean sheets.
Toronto has surged since the mid-season arrivals of Ansegen, Bernardeschi and Cristo. TFC had lost just one of eight games (4-1-3) since Insigne and Bernardeschi scored in a 4-0 win over visiting Charlotte before drawing against the Galaxy on July 23. MLS started.
Bradley made two changes to his debut with Shane O’Neill and Noble Okello replacing Lucas McNaughton and Cosey Thompson. For Okello, it was his first start since March 12, the third game of the season. He saw 29 minutes of action off the bench in midweek in his return from a long injury layoff.
TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio (non-COVID illness) and forward Deandre Kerr (lower body) did not dress.
Montreal also made two changes with defender Rudy Camacho and Camara returning to the starting 11 for Gabriel Corbo and Joaquin Torres.
Montreal had six Canadians in its starting 11, compared to four for Toronto.
While TFC held a 14-11-5 edge in the all-time series between the two before Sunday, including a 6-3-4 mark at BMO Field, Montreal was unbeaten in the last four league meetings (3- 0-1). Toronto defeated Montreal 4-0 in their next game this season, on June 22 at BMO Field in the semi-finals of the Canadian Championship.