CF Montreal defeats HFX Wanderers to capture semifinal spot in Canadian Championship

CF Montreal has claimed the second of four semifinal spots in the Canadian Championship by beating Canadian Premier League side HFX Wanderers 3-1 on Wednesday.

Matko Miljevic and Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, with two goals, scored for 2019 champions CF Montreal.

Cory Bent was the lone player on the scoresheet for host Halifax.

While many expected the home side to sit back and defend, Halifax was not so complacent. It pressed Montreal and enjoyed a significant amount of possession in the opposing half.

At the 24th minute, debutant Miljevic found himself all alone in front of the Halifax net but lost control of the ball before he could get a shot off. Only three minutes later—against the run of play— Bent punished Montreal’s lack of finish when he hit an absolute screamer into the top left corner.

Montreal then turned up the heat and—in the 35th minute—Miljevic made up for his earlier blunder up by smashing the ball into the top of the net. A scampering run by Zorhan Bassong followed by a clever ball to Miljevic’s foot set up the equalizer.

Montreal sensing the momentum shift, continued its pressing and looked to take its first lead of the game at the 41-minute mark, but Miljevic rattled a shot from outside the box off the post.

The defending champions picked up where they left off in the second half with substitute Lassi Lappalainen forcing an excellent save from Wanderers goalkeeper Kieran Baskett.

As Montreal continued to press and find the go-ahead goal, Halifax seemed more than content sitting back and shutting the door. There was eventually a breakthrough as CF Montreal captain Samuel Piette’s shot grazed the side of the post.

As the game wound on, Halifax started to come out of its defensive set. That ended up costing the Wanderers as Tabla fired a shot into the top corner from a Zachary Brault-Guillard cross just as regular time expired.

Tabla then put the game out of reach as he slotted in his second two minutes later.

Montreal will face CPL side Forge FC this weekend for a chance at its second consecutive final.