Kei Kamara brace leads CF Montreal  to win over Chicago Fire
PHOTO BY ALLEN MCINNIS /Montreal Gazette

On a night where there was a torrential downpour and the pitch was put into question, CF Montreal was able to pull out the win thanks to Kei Kamara.

An entertaining first half

Under the rain at Saputo Stadium CF Montreal hosted the Chicago Fire and Wilfried Nancy made six changes to the lineup that faced the Columbus Crew last Friday.

Kei Kamara landed the first shot on target in the ninth minute who was able to head a ball on target but it went right into the hands of Gabriel Slonina. 

Montreal opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Ismael Kone shot got deflected off Kamara and went past Slonina into the back of the net for his 137th career goal to make it 1-0. However, before the ensuing kickoff, the ref waited for verification from VAR due to a potential offside but after a short review, it was deemed a good goal. 

The Fire finally got their first shot of the game in the 25th minute as Rafael Czichos got a header on target but Sebastien Breza was there to make a comfortable save.

Kamara scored his second of the game four minutes later when he got a sublime pass from Kone and fired it once again into the back of the net to make it 2-0.

The visitors earned a penalty in the 38th minute when Breza ran into Jhon Duran. The official pointed to the spot and Xherdan Shaqiri managed to get it past Breza to reduce Montreal's lead to one.

Zachary Brault Guillard regained Montreal's two-goal lead seven minutes later this time getting a pass from Kamara and beating Slonina from the side of the net.

Montreal would hold their 3-1 lead heading into halftime, just 45 minutes away from clinching home-field advanage. 

CF Montreal hang on

Head coach Wilfried Nancy started the second half by taking out Djordje Mihailovic in favor of Matko Miljevic for his first substitution of the game.

In the 55th minute play was halted as Joel Waterman took Duran down and the ref once again went to VAR but again after a lengthy review another penalty was awarded.

Once again Shaqiri went to take the penalty and again beat Breza to bring Chicago within one amid controversy as Waterman couldn't believe the call.

Nancy made two more changes in the 61st minute bringing in Romell Quioto and Victor Wanyama for Kei Kamara and Samuel Piette. Montreal made a double change in the 72nd minute bringing in Mathieu Choiniere for Jojea Kwizera and Joaquin Torres for Mason Toye.

After five minutes of added time, the final whistle blew and CF Montreal had secured a top-four finish and home-field advantage throughout the MLS Cup playoffs.

Nancy: "Happy we were able to push through"

Head coach Wilfried Nancy was asked if he thinks the game could have gone smoother.

"It's football, it's going to happen, last game we were behind and today we were ahead and I saw it as a new opportunity to face adversity and get through it and I wanted to challenge my players."

Kone: "I am pleased with the win at home"

Ismael Kone who was one of the bright stars tonight gave his thoughts on the win and was very happy to get the three points and seal a home playoff game.

"I am actually really happy but It was a bit tough for us and they came back at several moments but we were able to keep the lead and get the result and it's been a while since we got a win at home so it was good for us."

Kamara: "I thought the game was going to be pushed"

"It's a tough one because we worked our goals really well and for them and we are happy that we were able to close it out and I am always pumped to play and I am always ready."

CF Montreal will now head to New England to face the Revolution on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

VAVEL Logo