MONTREAL — CF Montreal has advanced to the next round of the MLS Cup playoffs following a 2-0 win over Orlando City on Sunday night.
The squad will now face the winner of Monday’s match between New York City FC and Inter Miami in the Conference semifinal next Sunday at Stade Saputo.
Ismaël Koné and Djordje Miahilovic were the goal scorers for Montreal in the big win. Kone scored in the 68th minute, while Miahilovic added insurance with a penalty well into stoppage time.
Orlando City started the game with an unsurprising low block, conceding long stints of possession and making sure not to lose their shape. This has been a tactic used by many teams who play Montreal on the road, with many earning results by waiting for a break.
Montreal found success on the flank, making progress into the Orlando final third, but could not generate a goal.
At the 20-minute mark, there was the first penalty of the game, when Koné was brought down in the box. The referee waved it off instantly, much to the dismay of the sold-out Stade Saputo crowd.
Orlando benefited from the first — and arguably best — chance of the opening frame just moments later. A failed offside trap left Ercan Kara through on goal but he put the shot over James Pantemis and the bar.
In the final minute of the half, Montreal found more officiating controversy when Lassi Lappalainen was brought down in the box. The referee once again waved for play to continue, angering the crowd even more.
The half would be far from over as Orlando found another golden opportunity only seconds later, but Antônio Carlos was unable to convert, sending the ball wide from only a few yards out.
The second half was more of the same, with Orlando dropping deep and preventing any access to their penalty area. Their wall would finally break just before the 69th minute when a series of quick passes led to Miahilovic finding Koné wide open, who made no mistake.
Montreal put the game out of reach when Mihailovic was brought down in the box in the 90th minute and dispatched the penalty into the bottom right corner.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2022.
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