Montreal rallies for 4-3 MLS win over Cincinnati

MONTREAL — CF Montreal will start the international break strong after a spectacular 4-3 victory in Major League Soccer against FC Cincinnati on Saturday night at Stade Saputo.

Joel Waterman, Romell Quiotoand Mathieu Choinière scored for Montreal (7-5-2), while Junior Moreno and Álvaro Barreal scored for Cincinnati (6-7-1).

The game got off to an ominous start for Montreal, which saw its star forward and MVP candidate Djordje Mihailovic suffer an ankle injury after just three minutes. The concerns would only get worse as he was forced out of the game in the 15th minute.

Things would not improve for the home side as a defensive incident from a corner left Moreno with a goal wide open in the 12th minute.

The goal seemed to shake both Montreal and the home crowd as they began to get their feet under them and enjoy more possession.

Less than 10 minutes after falling, Kamal Miller missed a header as the ball fell on an open Waterman who was there to clean it up, much like Cincinnati’s first goal.

With the momentum on their side, Montreal kept pushing for a go-ahead goal. It came in extra time late in the first half as Quioto smashed his way through two defenders and the goalkeeper to score his first goal in over a month.

The Montrealers entered the second half with the same vigor as they finished the first, needing less than 30 seconds to double their advantage. A cheeky film from Kei set Choinière up for his first of the season, sending Stade Saputo into ecstasy.

However, Cincinnati showed why they have one of the best road records in MLS, taking one down immediately. Luciano Acosta spotted Barreal unmarked in the box, smashing him home just six minutes later.

Continuing the game’s dizzying back and forth, a VAR check confirmed Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund handled the ball in the penalty area, leading Quioto to convert his second of the game from the penalty spot.

Just four minutes later, Cincinnati kept fighting when a fine shot from Moreno sealed their brace and cut the lead back to one.

Montreal then closed the door for the rest of the game, sealing the victory and third place in the Eastern Conference.

Both teams will return to play on June 18 after the international break. Montreal will host Austin FC while Cincinnati will travel to Subaru Park to face the Philadelphia Union.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 28, 2022

Elias Grigoriadis, The Canadian Press