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Montreal, Nashville play to scoreless draw

CF Montreal, Nashville SC play to scoreless draw CF Montreal, Nashville SC play to scoreless draw - The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — There was nothing to separate CF Montreal and Nashville SC as the Major League Soccer sides played to a scoreless draw on Saturday night at Stade Saputo.

Montreal (3-4-7) ended a four-game MLS losing streak, while Nashville (3-7-4) continued its unbeaten run under interim manager Rumba Munthali.

“This has to be the standard we play at; it cannot be below this,” said Montreal head coach Laurent Courtois. “There is still a lot of work to be done with regards to decision making and playing with numbers. This is a team that loves to hit back on the counter and take advantage of turnovers so it’s difficult to tell the guys to go chase a win when that’s a possibility.”

There was a cautious pace to the majority of the first half as Montreal looked to gradually grow into the game and Nashville employed its usual conservative style of play. Both teams shared stints of possession without finding any real zone penetration until the half-hour mark.

While trying to build out of the back, Montreal keeper Jonathan Sirois misplayed a pass that left Sam Surridge with an open goal. The Nashville striker would’ve opened the scoring if not for a dramatic goal line clearance from Joel Waterman.

This was Montreal’s first clean sheet in four MLS matches — and just its third of the season — conceding 15 goals in that span en route to the league’s second-worst goals against tally.

“It’s always important to remember that it’s a collective effort and a collective result,” said Sirois who set a new club record for clean sheets in a season last year.

“Not conceding today is extremely positive and something we can definitely build on. I have more responsibilities (with the ball) this year so that’ll put me in a lot of different situations with regards to pressure, but the majority of the time we get out of it pretty well.”

Just seven minutes later, it was Montreal’s turn to have its best scoring opportunity of the half as Mathieu Choinière played Jules-Anthony Vilsaint in and forced a strong save from Nashville keeper Joe Willis.

Montreal began the second half controlling more of game and winning the ball high up the field. Despite a few half-chances, there was no breakthrough to be found from either side until the final kick of the game.

Dominic Iankov found some breathing room in Nashville’s penalty area, only for his close-range shot to be blocked by Jack Maher as the final whistle blew.

Despite ending its losing streak, Montreal has now tied a club record for seven games without a win — a streak that extends to nine in all competitions following their elimination from the Canadian Championship by Forge FC.

“I heard a couple of guys talking about ‘stopping the bleeding’ and I hate it, but it’s the reality of the moment,” said Courtois.

“We’re happy in the sense that we were able to get back to our standards of commitment and competitiveness, but we know that we need more at home, so we have to get back to work.”


Both teams turn their attention to mid-week matches. Montreal hosts D.C. United on Wednesday and Nashville travels to TQL Stadium to square off with FC Cincinnati, also on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2024.