CF Montreal fans had their hearts set to celebrate the 30e anniversary of their team and the players responded present.
Two second-half goals allowed the Montreal team to beat Toronto FC 2-0 on Saturday night at Saputo Stadium.
The Bleu-blanc-noir therefore defeated its fiercest rival for the second time in four days and signed a sixth consecutive victory, including four in MLS.
Lassi Lappalainen and Chinonso Offor, after the visitors were shown a red card, found the back of the net for CF Montreal (5-6-0), who will suddenly end the day among the nine teams in position to enter the playoffs in the Eastern Association.
For the first time in their history, the Montrealers obtained a fourth victory in a row against Toronto FC (2-4-6) at Stade Saputo.
The Torontonians saw their chances of returning to the game dwindle when Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty picked up a second yellow card, just three minutes after Lappalainen’s goal.
Bob Bradley’s men have not won away from home in their last nine outings (0-4-5). Their last win on an opposing field dates back to August 28, 2022, against Charlotte FC.
On the Montreal side, the young midfielder Bryce Duke, who had not made the trip to Toronto for the quarter-finals of the Canadian Championship, was not in uniform on Saturday evening. A team spokesperson said he was absent as a precaution.
Defender Joel Waterman has served his match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.
CF Montreal, who played to a full house this season, will now hit the road to face FC Cincinnati on Wednesday night.
The door opens in the second half
Hernan Losada’s players started the match with a little less confidence than in Toronto on Tuesday, but they still gave their opponents very few chances.
Sometimes directly targeted, defenders George Campbell, Gabriele Corbo and Robert Thorkelsson limited the danger in the penalty area, especially in front of the dangerous Federico Bernardeschi.
One of the best chances of the first half came from the foot of Ariel Lassiter, in the 45e minute, and it was a harbinger of what was to come for the Bleu-blanc-noir.
From the first minutes of the second half, Mathieu Choinière was able to fire a shot from the middle of the penalty area, but defender Aimé Mabika intervened.
CF Montreal recovered in the 53e minute. Campbell stole the ball from Italian star Lorenzo Insigne and he made a long run before dropping the object to his right. Lappalainen fired a fast, low shot that eluded Sean Johnson’s vigilance.
Three minutes later, when the ball was on the sidelines, Marshall-Rutty grabbed it and threw it away. Referee Chris Penso judged that he had wasted time and he gave him a second yellow card, which turned into red.
With one more player, CF Montreal was very threatening in enemy territory. Lappalainen deflected a center from Zachary Brault-Guillard and the ball arrived at the feet of Offor, who put the finishing touch.
As the match had just ended, several players from both teams almost came to blows and had to be separated.