CF Montreal blank Charlotte FC to extend unbeaten streak to 8 games
Whitecaps rally late to earn tie, Toronto FC drop 5th in a row in loss
Djordje Mihailovic continued his hot start to CF Montreal's season with a goal in first-half injury time to help the visitors to a 2-0 win over hosts Charlotte FC Saturday night.
It was a matchup of streaks, and Montreal (6-3-2, 20 points) stretched their unbeaten streak to eight, including five straight on the road.
Charlotte (4-7-1, 13 points) had its four-game home winning streak snapped. Their dubious streak of failing to draw a point when conceding first continued, losing all seven of those contests.
While Kahlina did not have a first-half save for Charlotte (4-2-0 at home), he finished with two saves on the night.
Montreal (3-2-2 on the road) survived an early injury scare when goalkeeper Sebastian Breza came off his line to foil a chance by Charlotte forward Karol Swiderski and took an inadvertent knee. He recovered and finished the game with three saves.
WATCH l FC Montreal tops Charlotte to continue unbeaten streak:
Breza was helped by the woodwork as well. Charlotte forward Andre Shinyashiki curled a shot past him but straight onto the post late in the half. Midfielder Alan Franco, who had shown good off-the-ball movement throughout the half, had the ball fall to him in the box, but he sent the ball skyward over the bar.
Charlotte threatened much more in the second half, but Montreal found the back of the net.
Charlotte head coach Miguel Angel Ramirez had his team switch back to the 4-3-3 in the 76th minute, a strategy that got results against Inter Miami and in the Open Cup midweek.
The decision to switch back to the 4-4-2 they had utilized earlier in the season did not pay off as the midfield struggled to track runners defensively throughout the game.
Whitecaps rally late to earn tie
The Vancouver Whitecaps had to rally twice Saturday to earn a tough point in a 3-3 Major League Soccer draw against the visiting San Jose Earthquakes.
Jeremy Ebobisse scored twice for San Jose (2-5-4), who let two leads slip away.
His second, and the Earthquakes' third, came after Cristian Espinoza beat Vancouver fullback Jake Nerwinski and found his unmarked teammate six yards out.
WATCH l Godoy scores late to give Whitecaps draw with Earthquakes:
The flurry of goals in the second half masked a slow performance by both sides in the first, with San Jose dominating possession but failing to score.
Lucas Cavallini opened the scoring for Vancouver (2-6-2) and helped set up the second.
Toronto FC drops 5th in a row
Kyle Smith scored in the second minute of second-half stoppage time to lift visiting Orlando City SC to a 1-0 win against Toronto FC on Saturday in Toronto.
Orlando (6-4-2, 20 points) improved to 3-1-2 on the road. Toronto (3-7-2, 11 points) has lost five in a row — the last three by shutout and two straight on last-minute tallies after allowing a 90th minute goal to the Vancouver Whitecaps last week.
Both sides struggled to get the ball on target and missed on passes in close in the opening half. Orlando managed seven shots in the first 45 minutes but only one was on goal while Toronto had one of its three attempts reach the goal.
WATCH | Toronto FC falls to Orlando City on late goal:
In the fourth minute, Toronto winger Jayden Nelson missed reaching Jesus Jimenez in the box with a cross and a minute later, Orlando midfielder Facundo Torres sent a long-range shot that went wide right of the net.
The Lions started to generate more as the half progressed. In the 12th minute, Junior Urso's sliding shot from the low right side of the box hit the outside of the net. Ruan's cross in the 17th minute ended up an easy save for Reds goalkeeper Alex Bono and, a minute later, Torres' cross from the left side intended for Ercan Kara went too far in front.
Toronto had a pair of chances midway through the frame. Luca Petrasso's shot from inside the box in the 19th minute was blocked by Ruan and in the 24th minute, Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese stopped a Jimenez shot from distance.
Orlando came out firing early in the second half, with Torres taking a feed from Kara but was stopped by Bono.
In the 50th minute, Gallese matched his counterpart with a diving save on a distance shot from Reds forward Deandre Kerr.
An open Kerr nearly struck in the 67th minute from just outside the box but shot rolled just past the outside of the left post.
With files from The Canadian Press