CF Montréal are moving on to the Canadian Championship Final. After a scoreless 90 minutes, Montréal eliminated Forge FC of Hamilton, Ontario, after a wild penalty shootout at Tim Horton's Field Wednesday night.

It took 11 dramatic rounds of penalties to settle the semifinal, with Montréal goalkeeper Sebastian Breza the hero as he saved from his Forge counterpart Triston Henry and then scored the winning penalty to send his team back to the Voyageurs Cup Final and a shot at a place in next season's Concacaf Champions League

Amid an Audi MLS Cup Playoff battle, Montréal head coach Wilfried Nancy opted to rotate his squad in southern Ontario. Homegrown Rida Zouhir, born on Nov. 23, 2003, became the youngest player to start a match in club history.

But it was in-form striker Sunusi Ibrahim who had a perfect chance to open the scoring only 11 minutes into the match. The Nigerian took a one-touch opportunity with his right foot from the top of the six-yard box but his shot skied above the net.

After a scoreless first half, Forge applied pressure as they threatened to pull off the upset in front of their home fans. Yet the Montréal backline bent but didn't crack. Forge's best chance came from center back Daniel Krutzen whose shot from inside the box went wide of the far post at the 53rd minute.

Former Montréal and Toronto FC player Kyle Bekker had one last chance to score the winning goal for the underdogs at the 92nd minute but his shot from outside the box flew well above the crossbar. Scoreless after 90 minutes, the semifinal cup tie went straight to a penalty shootout.

Mo Babouli, Forge's first penalty taker, missed his attempt, only for Bjørn Johnsen to later hit the crossbar and level the score. Breza then saved an attempt by Kwame Awuah but was equaled by Forge's Henry blocking Ballou Tabla's effort.

After all 10 outfield players on either side had their turn, it was keeper against keeper. Breza denied Henry and scored his shot from the spot to send Montréal to the final agains the winners of next week's semifinal between Toronto FC and Pacific FC.


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Three things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Wilfried Nancy's gamble paid off. With a rotated squad, the reigning Voyageurs Cup champions will be able to play for another title after a penalty shootout despite a lackluster scoreless draw in regulation time. Montréal will flip their focus to league play where the team is in the thick of a push for the playoffs.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: With his save against Forge FC goalkeeper Triston Henry, Sebastian Breza sent CF Montréal to the 2021 Canadian Championship final.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: When Forge FC applied the pressure in the second half, Sebastian Breza kept his team alive. The Montreal native then made three saves in the penalty shootout and scored the winning spot kick to send his team to the final.

Next up:

  • FOR: End of competition
  • MTL: Saturday, Oct. 30 at New York Red Bulls | 4 pm ET (TVA Sports in Canada, MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US)