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2022 Concacaf Champions League match recap: CF Montréal 3, Santos Laguna 0

Montréal gets a very Concacaf win, beating Santos 3-1 on aggregate to advance to the quarterfinals of the CCL.

General view of the Olympic Stadium prior to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup semi final match between the United States and Germany on June 30, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The United States defeated Germany 2-0 and move to the final round. Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

A poor game eliminates Santos from the Concacaf Champions League, losing 3-0 to a CF Montréal side that still hasn’t played a league match this year. Matheus Dória was a scratch, having picked up a knock in the last match against Juárez, while manager Pedro Caixinha missed the match after testing positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Canada. It was reported that he had tested negative in México, but will be forced to quarantine in Canada for five days and perhaps more importantly, was unable to be at the match.

Both teams made forays into their opponents’ ends early in the match, but neither were able to create much danger. Montréal played a much more physical brand of soccer to start, knocking Santos players to the hard turf early and often. The hosts had a decent opportunity in the eighth minute off of a corner kick, but the header by Joel Waterman went well wide. A minute later they’d get it right however when a great ball in from the right flank found Romell Quioto, who drew Carlos Acevedo off of his line and got a deft touch on the ball at a tight angle, knocking it in to draw the sides level on goals.

Montréal struck again in the 22nd minute when Quioto got a ball at the edge of the box, held up play, and sent it into the path of an onrushing Djordje Mihailovic. Mihailovic hit a hard shot off of the underside of the crossbar to put the hosts up 2-1 on aggregate at that point.

Montréal was clearly more used to playing on turf, with the futsal-esque bounces and speed on the carpet causing confusion for Santos. Add in Montréal’s commitment to physicality (as well as extra-curricular activities), and the frustration levels were high. Santos finally got their first shot on goal in the 36th when Fernando Gorriarán headed a ball from distance on frame. Gorriarán had a shot in the 43rd that was stopped by Breza in his first real work of the evening. Then as the clock struck 45, Mathieu Choinère hit a shot from the top of the box that smashed off of the corner of the crossbar. After a minute of stoppage, the referee blew the whistle, and as the crowd cheered on the home side the visitors crowded the referee to air their grievances.

Montréal took it to Santos to start the second half, with Acevedo making a good save on a shot from Romell Quioto. The tempers and the extra -curriculars continued, when the teams got into a shoving match in the 49th after Mihailovic tried to take the ball after play had stopped. Brian Lozano threw him to the ground, sparking the row. Shortly after that Ismaël Koné got a break away but Acevedo did well to make the stop. Acevedo made yet another brilliant stop in the 56th on a header off of a free kick. Acevedo could only do so much however and in the 60th minute a defensive breakdown allowed a pass from Waterman to roll all the way across the box to a wide open Ismaël Koné, who knocked it into the back of the net to make it 3-1 on aggregate.

Santos tried to mount a comeback, but couldn’t get anything going. The turf and the constant gamesmanship from Montréal kept the flow of play disrupted and the players’ focus distracted.

Montréal heads to Orlando to take on Orlando City in their season opener on Sunday, February 27 while Santos heads to Mexico City to face Cruz Azul also on Sunday, February 27.

CF Montréal: Sebastian Breza; Victor Wanyama, Joel Waterman (Alistair Johnston, 64’), Kamal Miller; Mathieu Choinère, Lassi Lappalainen (Zachary Brault-Guillard, 75’), Ismaël Koné, Rudy Camacho; Joaquín Torres (Matko Miladević, 87’), Romell Quioto, Djordje Mihailovic (Rida Zouhir, 88’)

Santos Laguna: Carlos Acevedo: Omar Campos, Hugo Rodríguez, Ismael Govea, Franco Pizzichillo (Diego Medina, 67’); Brian Lozano (Beto Ocejo, 67’), Fernando Gorriarán, Edgar Games (Leo Suárez, 46’), Alan Cervantes (Ulíses Rívas, 46’); Eduardo Aguirre, Harold Preciado

Scoring: CF Montréal - Romell Quioto (9’), Djordje Mihailovic (22’), Ismaël Koné (61’); Santos Laguna - None

Disciplinary: CF Montréal - Joel Waterman (Yellow - 36’), Kamal Miller (Yellow - 49’), Romell Quioto (Yellow - 57’), Zachary Brault-Guillard (Yellow - 89’); Santos Laguna - Harold Preciado (Yellow - 36’), Brian Lozano (Yellow - 49’)