CF Montreal eliminated by NYCFC in MLS East semifinal

CF Montreal's season came to an end on Sunday after they were beaten by the MLS Cup defending champions NYCFC.

CF Montreal concede early

In front of a packed Saputo Stadium on a sunny and hot Sunday afternoon, CF Montreal and NYCFC battled it out for a spot in the East final.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 6th minute when Maxi Moralez managed to shoot the ball into an open net as James Pantemis made the initial save but was out of his net.

CF Montreal almost tied the game in the 11th minute when Kei Kamara off a cross managed to get the ball on target but Sean Johnson the NYCFC keeper made his first save of the game.

Five minutes later Kamara was at it again but this his header rang off the post and stayed out. On the ensuing play, Montreal thought they tied it but the offside flag went up.

In the 32nd minute, Ismael Kone had a chance at goal with a superb header but again was denied by Johnson, who made an incredible save.

Kamal Miller tested Johnson in the dying minutes of the first half but again Johnson made another save and was proving difficult to beat. minutes later NYCFC doubled their lead as  Heber managed to deflect a shot past James Pantemis.

NYCFC seals the win

Kamara got the first shot on target of the second half 10 minutes into the half but it was headed right into the hands of Johnson. Heber on the ensuing play got a shot at goal but Montreal keeper James Pantemis blocked it.

In the 60th minute, Pantemis attempting to make the save fouled Gabriel Pereira and the ref pointed to the spot giving NYCFC a penalty and Talles Magno scored to make it 3-0.

Montreal finally got on the scoreboard in the 85th minute as Djordje Mihailovic was finally able to get a ball past Johnson with a powerful header that went off his hand and into the net. 

With six minutes of added time, Montreal threw everything at the net but it wasn't enough as the final whistle blew ending their season.

Nancy " we need to live the moment and respect the defeat".

In his final post-game press conference CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy spoke about the game plan and how his team didn't give up till the last minute.

" The plan was to have a good start but they put good pressure on us but I liked the way we kept the attitude of not giving up and we pushed hard but it wasn't enough"

Johnston " It's a mix of emotions about how we're feeling right now"

Alistair Johnston who will most likely be representing Canada at the World Cup in Qatar next month spoke about the team and how difficult it was to breakthrough.

" It was a great performance, especially in that first half and it is tough to think that was our best performance and your 2-0 down, the guys were disappointed because it was a special run and we felt we could have kept going but we ran into a good team".

Piette " I was a bit surprised how intense NYCFC was".

Another Canadian hopeful heading to Qatar next month Samuel Piette spoke about the frustration and falling short of their goal.

" We were focused, we were confident and when a big team in a big game presses you like that you have to be careful and we are a team that likes to play out of the back, I thought we had a shaky start and unfortunately you have to live those moments and not concede and we did".

NYCFC will now travel to Philadelphia to face the Union in the MLS East final next week looking to go back to defend their MLS Cup title.