CF Montréal emphatically booked their berth in the 2022 Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals, beating Liga MX’s Santos Laguna 3-1 on aggregate after a 3-0 rout in the second leg of their Round of 16 series at Stade Olympique Wednesday night.
HIGHLIGHTS: CF Montreal vs. Santos Laguna | February 23, 2022
CF Montréal, which rebounded from a tight 1-0 loss in Torreon, join the New England Revolution and NYCFC in the quarterfinal round. They will meet either Cruz Azul or Canadian Premier League side Forge FC in the next round.
Cruz Azul have a 1-0 edge heading into Thursday’s second leg at Estadio Azteca.
Montréal leveled the series in the 9th minute when Romell Quioto beat Santos goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo, who came sliding off his line, to a Mathieu Choinière service and tapped into the open net from a difficult angle.
Djordje Mihailovic gave Montréal the lead on aggregate with a fantastic finish in the 22nd minute, receiving a pass from Quioto on his entry into the box before firing a ferocious left-footed strike under the crossbar.
Mihailovic then played provider just past the hour mark to an unmarked Ismael Kone, and the 19-year-old midfielder blasted the ball into the net to help secure Montréal’s safe passage into the final eight.
- THE BIG PICTURE: CF Montréal felt hard done by a 1-0 road defeat in the first leg, when a Quioto goal was called back following Video Review. They believed they could bounce back and did so with a certain savoir-faire to run the struggling Liga MX side off the Stade Olympique turf. It’s the latest CCL triumph for Montréal against a Mexican foe and they’ll likely have to do that again to reach the semifinals with Cruz Azul the favorite to advance over Forge FC.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: This early Quioto goal would count. It leveled the series in the opening 10 minutes and set the tone for what was a thorough victory that could have been more lopsided if not for Acevedo's big saves early in the second half.
GOAL: Romell Quioto, CF Montreal - 9th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Mihailovic showed the form that made him a low-key Landon Donovan MLS MVP candidate a year ago. This golazo proved to be the winner, plus he set up Kone’s second-half insurance goal.
GOAL: Ismael Koné, CF Montreal - 61st minute
- MTL: Sunday, Feb. 27 at Orlando City SC | 1 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+) | MLS regular season
- CSL: Sunday, Feb. 27 at Cruz Azul | 8 pm ET | Liga MX