CF Montréal advance to the semifinals to meet Forge FC, who bested Atletico Ottawa 3-2 on penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 draw in an all-Canadian Premier League quarterfinal on Tuesday.
Immediately after a Federico Bernardeschi free kick from just outside the box was blocked, CF Montréal sprung a counterattack capped by Zachary Brault-Guillard slipping past Sean Johnson, who came off his line to deny Romell Quioto’s initial chance, to put the visitors in front on 35 minutes.
Toronto FC pulled a goal back just before the halftime break when Lorenzo Insigne tapped in a Richie Laryea cross. Insigne was close to equalizing late, but his free kick deflected off the Montréal wall as the visitors advanced in the first of two Canadian Classique matchups four days apart. The teams renew their rivalry Saturday at Stade Saputo as part of Matchday 12.
- THE BIG PICTURE: A Canadian Classique win is as sweet as it gets, especially when it comes in a knockout competition. So CF Montréal will cherish this one and will immediately be the favorite to reach the final. Toronto FC were nearly played off the park in the first half and although a Lorenzo Insigne goal late in the first half gave them a lifeline, a second goal wouldn’t materialize.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: How’s this for a clinical counterattack that opened the scoring for CF Montréal?
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Mathieu Choinière was sensational for CF Montréal, not only setting up Chinonso Offor for what proved to be the match-winner, but he also won 87.5% of his nine duels in the feisty affair.