MONTREAL — CF Montreal have booked their first trip to the post-season since 2016 with a dramatic 2-2 draw against the Columbus Crew on Friday night.
Victor Wanyama scored in the 89th minute and Zachary Brault-Guillard scored in stoppage time to even the score and allow Montreal (16-9-4) to pick up one point.
Jonathan Mensah and Lucas Zelarayán scored for Columbus (9-6-13).
Columbus caught Montreal off guard early in the game, getting on the front foot immediately. With star signing Cucho Hernandez leading the line, the Crew forced three excellent stops from James Pantemis in the opening 15 minutes.
At approximately the 20-minute mark, Romell Quioto and Mason Toye swapped spots, and the momentum of the game shifted.
Mathieu Choinière was played through by a great ball and centred it to Toye, but he was unable to convert.
Montreal continued to press and created another golden scoring opportunity as time wound down in the first half. Mihailovic found himself alone in the box with a point-blank shot, only to be frustrated as he saw it blocked.
In the second half, the Crew continued to play in a very low defensive block — something many teams visiting Stade Saputo have done with great success.
That success came Columbus’ way in the 66th minute from a set piece that saw Mensah rise up and place a header into the right corner of the net.
It took less than a minute for Zelarayán to double the visitors’ lead with a well-placed volley after an initial shot was blocked.
Montreal was provided some help to make a comeback with 15 minutes remaining when a rash challenge from Luis Diaz saw him get sent off.
The ensuing pressure yielded a goal as a shot from Matko Miljevic deflected off Wanyama, pulling one back for the hosts.
With only three minutes of stoppage time remaining, Brault-Guillard’s scored from outside the box, surprising the Columbus keeper to tie the score.
Both teams are back in action on Sept. 13 as Montreal hosts Chicago Fire, while Columbus heads to DRV PRK Stadium to face off against Inter Miami.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2022.
Elias Grigoriadis, The Canadian Press