All the stars seemed aligned for the magic to work. Received by the public with thunderous applause in his first minutes of play in just over four months, Romell Quioto had, in a way, the fate of CF Montreal in his hands.
The Honduran forward, who has been out since May 13 with a hamstring injury, was in an excellent position to give his team the goal they were unable to score despite the astonishing number of opportunities obtained Until now.
But Quito’s free kick moments after entering the scene in the 77th minute was blocked by the Chicago Fire wall and the Impact ultimately had to settle for a bittersweet 0-0 draw on Saturday night in front of a packed house. of 19,619 spectators. .
CF Montreal remains in eighth place in the Eastern Association with 36 points from 28 games, one point ahead of their closest pursuer, DC United, who also tied tonight against Charlotte. In short, things won’t change much in the standings until Montreal plays its next game against Cincinnati on Wednesday at Stade Saputo.
“I felt like I was in a movie with the free kick and the crowd going crazy. I was sure that Romell was going to score,” admitted goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois after the game at the end of which he signed his eleventh shutout since the start of the season, a team record.
“The result is not frustrating, it even makes you feel good, because the most difficult thing in this sport is creating opportunities,” said coach Hernán Losada. Tonight there was only one team on the field. It’s just a matter of lack of finish.
“The defense (which could count on the return of Joel Waterman to the lineup) did very well with and without the ball. All the players were very focused. But I repeat, you just have to find a way to score goals. You have to stay positive. »
However, Losada seemed discouraged after a George Campbell header hit the crossbar in the 23rd minute. It was then the fifth real scoring opportunity for CF Montreal, who had broken into Fire territory from the first minute of play thanks Zachary Brault-Guillard, who had played a very strong game, as well as Nathan Saliba.
ContentId(3.1431065):CF Montréal: blatant lack of opportunism; 11th shutout for Sirois
Fortunately, unlike other times earlier this season, the Impact did not get caught up in their lack of opportunism, and the Fire did not get their first shot in Sirois’ direction until the 45th minute. However, there was a small period of uncertainty after the arrivals of Ariel Lassiter and Chinonso Offor in the 58th minute, with the visitors having 3 chances in just 4 minutes, but the additions of Bryce Duke and Quioto in the 77th brought CF Montreal back. the correct road.
“It’s never easy to arrive so late in a game, but I just wanted to create opportunities and that’s what I achieved,” Duke analyzed. Romell gave everything he had and played very well. Now I hope to have the opportunity to establish real chemistry with him. »
“Quioto couldn’t play more than 15 minutes today, but obviously that’s very encouraging heading into Wednesday night,” Losada added. He gave the team a second wind. »
If Quioto’s work has been scrutinized for obvious reasons, we must not forget the contribution of Duke, who had 4 shots on goal – his highest total since CF Montreal acquired his services from Inter Miami last April – in just 13 minutes of play.
“We have to be satisfied with our performance. “We played well, we have to take advantage of that,” Duke said. You have to keep working hard in training and eventually everything will fall into place. »
The most cynical will respond that with only six games left on the regular schedule, it’s time for the players who are supposed to fill the net to start scoring goals.