The smell of the barrage began to emanate from the Wanderers Ground in Halifax Wednesday night, for better or worse. Then, Ballu Tabla showed that he was ready to play his part for the greater good of CF Montreal.
Tabla scored two goals in the final moments of the second half to give Montreal a 3-1 win over HFX Wanderers in the quarter-finals of the Canadian Soccer Championship.
Tabla, who was on his first outing in Montreal’s uniform since October 24, 2020, after being treated for a groin injury, broke the 1-1 tie for the first time in the 89th minute after a pass from Zachary Brault-Gillard.
He then sealed the outcome of the match in the second minute of stoppage time, completing a fine two-player game with Lassi Lappeenan.
“I am very happy. It may not appear, but I am happy, I am really happy to be back on the pitch, I had the minutes. I am really grateful to the coach because the last six months with an injury, eight The months have not been easy. I am really happy to help the team,” Tabla reiterated via videoconferencing after the match.
Matko Miljevi, who played his first game with the Montreal team, scored the second goal for CF Montreal in the first half.
Corey Bent created a frenzy among fans of the Nova Scotia team by opening the scoring before the first half hour of the game.
With this win, CF Montreal will face Hamilton’s team Forge FC in the semi-finals. Forge FC (9-7-1) are third in the Canadian Premier League with 28 points. The date and venue of this match is yet to be determined.
Throughout the game, the Montreal side controlled the ball approximately 67 percent of the time and directed 21 shots toward the opponent’s net, including five on goal, compared to only two (both on target) for the Wanderers.
Wilfred Nancy’s men also nearly attempted a double pass (680 against 343).
“We have to be realistic. They forced us to play at a pace we weren’t comfortable with,” said Wanderers head coach Stephen Hart.
“For that reason, we didn’t execute when we had the ball and when they had the ball, the accuracy, the technique, the pace of the ball was impressive. Sometimes we defended well but we were always playing on the back foot. Credits Goes to them, it’s a deserved win.”
For his team’s first game in the Canadian Championship, in the middle of a busy schedule, Wilfred Nancy left several of his key players.
Thus, Jordje Mihailovi, Rommel Quiyoto, Viktor Wanyama, Joaquín Torres and Matthew Choinier did not wear uniforms.
In addition, Laplainen, Tabla, Broult-Gillard, Kamal Miller and Björn Johnson started the game on the side.
“A choice had to be made, before making that choice, of course, I thought about it for a long time with my staff. We’ve been playing in a few days, we’re fine, the players who played are the ones to play. Were worthy because the group is staying well, the group is well together,” Nancy said after her troop victory.
“I got to keep this team and I congratulate them because the practice wasn’t easy. I really wanted them to do something right and that’s what they did. I’m really happy for the whole group.”
CF Montreal will resume its MLS activities on Saturday evening when the Columbus crew visits.
dominance… but losses
In the first half, CF Montreal held the ball nearly 70 percent of the time, making 398 passes – compared to 177 for their opponents – and attempting six shots compared to two for the Wanderers.
Despite this, the players of both the teams returned to the locker room with a 1-1 draw. And to achieve this parity, CF Montreal had to come from behind.
Sebastian Brezza on his first opportunity of the game, the Wanderers took the lead in the 27th minute with a powerful, surgically accurate strike from Bent.
A change by Emmanuel Maisel in the defensive field resulted in a goal from Bent.
Miljevic found the top left of the net with a left footed shot in the 35th minute.
“In the presentation of the match, I said (to the players), ‘Tough times can be, but I want us to be calm, calm, always ‘immediately when you have it necessary to defend and attack,'” Nancy said.
“But what I liked was that when we scored, I felt that my team was not nervous. It comes from everyone. It bodes well for the future. The idea is to go as far as possible to be successful in the competition. “
CF Montreal continued to hold and control the ball for the vast majority of the second half, to the point where the Wanderers were unable to fire a single shot towards Brezza.
However, despite their long presence in enemy territory, CF Montreal was determined to decide the outcome of the game on target shooting until the tabla showed up.
In another quarter-final match of the Canadian Championship, Toronto FC had no difficulty beating York United by a score of 4–0. Jonathan Osorio, Ifunanyachi Achara, Yefferson Soteldo and Noble Okello each shook the ropes.
In the last game of the night, Pacific FC, based near Victoria, British Columbia, defeated Calvary FC 1–0. It was a goal from Terran Campbell in the 33rd minute in which the BC representatives beat the Calgary-area club.
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