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CF Montreal draws in Atlanta | The art of spoiling the beautiful story

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Yet there were so many beautiful things to tell. But Atlanta had something else in mind.

Playing 11 v 10 and leading 3-1 until the 85and minute, CF Montreal finally drew 3-3 against Atlanta United at Mercedes Benz Stadium on Saturday.

“We lost the match today,” said Wilfried Nancy by videoconference.

“Unacceptable”, added Djordje Mihailovic, before adding that the team had to “look at themselves for a long time in the mirror”.

“It was weak on our part,” said Kamal Miller, who also spoke of “complacency”. “It’s another lesson, but it’s been too much since the start of the season. »

We didn’t sing the tune of We Like to Party! Vengaboys in the Zoom post-game, you guessed it.


PHOTO DALE ZANINE, USA TODAY SPORTS

Tyler Wolff (28) and Romell Quioto (30)

Despite everything, this last-minute collapse provided their first point for Wilfried Nancy’s men this season in MLS. And there are still a lot of positives to take away from this game for Montrealers.

Including the masterful performance of Ismaël Koné.

Because the history of this match before the 85andit was entirely Koné who had written it.

The 19-year-old midfielder was the main culprit in the turnover leading to Josef Martínez’s goal in the 6thand minute. Another badly executed construction from the back that pinched Wilfried Nancy’s men.

But Ismaël Koné was then an essential player in the irresistible rise of his team.

“Isma, he’s like that, judged Nancy after the match. When he has moments where he makes a mistake, he uses that mistake to respond correctly. »

It was he who sent Djordje Mihailovic on a free break with Joaquín Torres in the 28thand. Completely outmaneuvering the Atlanta defense, he served a deep pass that the American led to goalkeeper Brad Guzan. The latter has lost his bearings in his own surface. 1-1. Assist, Koné.


PHOTO DALE ZANINE, USA TODAY SPORTS

Victor Wanyama (2) and Alan Franco (6)

It was Koné himself who gave his team the lead in the 37thand minute, taking a center from Lassi Lappalainen on reception in the area. 2-1, CF Montreal. Goal, Ismael Koné.

And it was still the 19-year-old who went for a penalty in the 41stand minute. His nice drive up deep on the right forced Miles Robinson to commit a foul. Romell Quioto converted moments later. 3-1, CF Montreal.

It was also the very first time in history that Atlanta allowed three goals in a single half at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

“The mistake that led to the first goal can kill you as a young player,” Mihailovic said of Koné’s performance. I have been in this situation before. It’s really impressive, the way he recovered. »

“He was involved in all three of our goals after the error, which shows the full extent of his character and development. He has great potential and a bright future ahead of him. »

All that remained for CF Montreal was to stay focused and hold on for 45 minutes. A red card given to Dom Dwyer in the 67andwho had just come into play, has also greatly helped the visitors’ cause.

But no. The story of the 2021 season was set to repeat itself in 2022. Thiago Almada made it 3-2 with a superb strike in the 85and. Then Brooks Lennon deceived the vigilance of Sebastian Breza, deep in stoppage time, on a free kick. The Montreal doorman will blame himself on that.

“We controlled the game, said Nancy, who was starting to get a little carried away at the end of the press briefing. The way we were playing, we had to kill him. I know my team. You can play against any club. We are ready to fight anyone. »

“We need to make better decisions. »

A welcome truce

There were other reasons to celebrate Ismaël Koné’s fine performance on Saturday, before Atlanta’s comeback.

Especially because everything indicates that he will be recalled by coach John Herdman with the Canadian national team on Sunday for the qualifying matches for the World Cup next week.

But also because the midfielder alone is the image of the Montreal project. We want young people to play. Develop local talent. And put it on display to enjoy it sportingly and perhaps, one day, financially.

On Saturday, the plan almost worked perfectly.

Now, Wilfried Nancy can take advantage of the international break to allow his team to find their bearings.

Because the last month has been “mentally exhausting”, according to Djordje Mihailovic.

“We all, myself included, have to take two or three days off and not think about this sport,” said the American. We had a difficult start to the season with the Champions League and tough opponents. »

“We have to let our minds wander a bit. »

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