CF Montréal reminded observers that they're an important piece of the Eastern Conference's Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs race, nabbing a 2-0 victory over Chicago Fire FC at Stade Saputo on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts were sparked by a Romell Quioto strike and Fire own goal, moving into fifth place in the East and vaulting past resurgent Atlanta United. As for Chicago, they've now lost five of their last six games – all on the road – and were without DPs Gaston Gimenez and Ignacio Aliseda after they didn't travel due to a violation of team rules. Further, DP forward Robert Beric was an unused substitute and defender Francisco Calvo remains out injured.

Montréal broke the ice with a nifty passing play along the left flank at the hour mark. Djordje Mihalovic placed the ball inside the box for Quioto, and the Honduran forward bagged his fifth goal of the season with a powerful shot past Chicago homegrown goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina. Mihlaovic recorded his 11th assist of the season, two shy of Ignacio Piatti's single-season club record of 13.

Chicago's hopes of a comeback were quelled with an own goal minutes later. Mathieu Choiniere, who had broken Montréal's record for most minutes played by a homegrown player, tried to locate Ahmed Hamdi with a bending cross. Carlos Teran got there first but steered the ball into his own net, giving Montreal a 2-0 lead.

Chicago thought they had answered back with an equalizer off the foot off Fabian Herbers at the 77th minute. The German midfielder beat Montréal goalkeeper James Pantemis with a shot from just above the penalty spot, but the play was called back after Miguel Angel Navarro was caught offside in the buildup.

Pantemis got busy early to keep the clean sheet. At the 20th minute, the homegrown made a diving save on a heavy shot from atop the box by Chinoso Offor. Chicago knocked on the door once again in the 33rd minute. Mauricio Pineda headed a cross past Pantemis, but his attempt was cleared just ahead of the goal line by Rudy Camacho, keeping the scoreless draw intact.

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Goals

  • 60' – MTL – Romell Quioto | WATCH
  • 80' – MTL – Carlos Teran (OG) | WATCH

Three things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: CF Montréal have won three of their last four games and are pushing for a home game in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs. That they're in this position speaks to the job first-year head coach Wilfried Nancy has done. Chicago will have a tough road ahead if they want to play later in the fall. The Fire sit in 12th place, 11 points away from the East's seventh and final playoff spot.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Montréal’s dynamic duo teamed up to give their squad all three points at home. Mihailovic set up Quioto inside the box with a perfect opportunity to break the ice.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Quioto found a way to give his team the all-important opener. The Honduran international is used to scoring vital goals for CF Montréal, and he did just that against a Fire team that's outside of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs picture and looking in.

Next Up

  • MTL: Wednesday, September 22 at Halifax Wanderers | 5 pm ET | Canadian Championship quarterfinals
  • CHI: Wednesday, September 22 vs. New England Revolution | 8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ | MLS regular season

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