CF Montreal's eight-game unbeaten run snapped with 1-0 loss to Red Bulls

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MONTREAL — CF Montreal’s unbeaten run ended at eight games on Wednesday night after a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls at Stade Saputo.

Lewis Morgan scored the lone goal of the match right before halftime for New York (13-8-8).

Montreal’s (15-9-4) run had tied a club record set earlier this year. The club also had a chance to break their single-season points record of 51, but will have to pause those celebrations as it stands at 49.

The game was a contest between the two best road teams in MLS and it showed as the Red Bulls didn’t shy away, pressing high up from the start. That led to an uncharacteristically nervy start at home for Montreal with many misplaced balls and giveaways.

“When you’re facing a young team with a lot of energy, it’s important to be as technically perfect as possible and we didn’t do that,” said Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy. “They made sure everyone got behind the ball and made it very difficult to play.”

Neither team created much offence throughout the first half. It took 43 minutes for the first opportunity to come the Red Bulls way and they made no mistake.

Cristian Casseres played Morgan in, and the midfielder chipped it over the goalkeeper to give New York the lead going into halftime.

“We can talk about chances that we don’t score, but we can also talk about the chances that we concede and they’re just as bad,” said Montreal midfielder Samuel Piette. “We have to take some lessons from this but ultimately forget about it and prepare for the last run of the season.”

The Red Bulls did not hide their intentions in the second half, having no fewer than eight players behind the ball defending. It took 30 minutes of pressure for the home side to find its first chance of the game.

With Romell Quioto’s inch-perfect cross after being played into space, Mason Toye put it wide with an opportunity to guide the ball into a wide-open net.

New York saw the rest of the game out relatively comfortably, with the home side’s attack looking toothless in the dying stages of the game.

“We have to have that final cutting edge in games like this,” said Montreal midfielder Victor Wanyama. “We know we can do better, and we just have to focus on getting back to our normal selves.”

Montreal, currently holding the second seed in the Eastern Conference, will now travel to Toronto for the third Canadian Classique of the season on Sept. 4, while the Red Bulls return home to host the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 3.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 31, 2022.

Elias Grigoriadis, The Canadian Press