Wanyama revs after FC Montreal secure Canadian Championship final slot

CF Montreal midfielder Victor Wanyama (2) celebrates the victory during the Audi 2022 MLS, Fussball Herren, USA Cup Playoffs match between Orlando City SC and CF Montreal held at Saputo Stadium in Montreal on October 16, 2022.

STARS ABROAD Wanyama revs after FC Montreal secure Canadian Championship final slot

Joel Omotto 09:41 - 25.05.2023

The former Harambee Stars captain played a key role as the MLS side downed Forge to set up a mouth-watering final clash with Vancouver Whitecaps.

Victor Wanyama moved closer to winning his second Canadian Championship trophy after CF Montreal advanced to the final following a 2-0 victory over Forge on Thursday morning.

The former Harambee Stars captain played 90 minutes once again at the heart of Montreal’s midfield alongside Canadian Mathieu Choiniere as coach Hernan Losada stuck to his 3-4-3 system for the third game in a row.

Ariel Lassiter and Sunusi Ibrahim were the goal scorers as Montreal beat Forge in the tournament for the third consecutive year.

Despite a slow start to the game, Montreal controlled the ball for the majority of the first half. Forge lined up with two compact banks of four in an effort to frustrate any oncoming attacks with great success.

The halftime addition of striker Chinonso Offor allowed Montreal to use his large frame to pin opposing central defenders deeper and open up space for the midfield.

Lassiter was the first one to take advantage of this room, using it to score his first goal with the club since arriving from Inter Miami in April.

The Costa Rican winger cut into the middle of the field from 30 yards out and sent the ball towards the net. The weak shot was then deflected by Forge midfielder Alessandro Hojabrpour and found its way into the bottom corner, giving the hosts the lead.

As the chances and dangerous crosses into the Forge penalty area continued, goalkeeper Triston Henry kept his side in the game, making an incredible point-blank stop on Offor at the 70-minute mark.

Montreal finally capitalised on their chances with 10 minutes left, putting the game beyond Forge's grasp at 2-0.

After winning the ball in the penalty area, Ibrahim made a swift cut to the right and hit a powerful shot into the corner to double Montreal's lead.

Montreal will face Vancouver Whitecaps in the final in early June after the former thrashed Pacific FC 3-0 in the other semi-final. If Montreal win, it will be the second title for Wanyama with the MLS side, after winning the very competition in 2021.

Victory also saw Montreal bring and their two-game losing streak, having been beaten in a space of three days by Cincinnati and New York Red Bulls, prior to Thursday’s encounter.

Wanyama and co will now turn their attention to the MLS with a meeting against Phil Neville’s struggling Inter Miami scheduled for Sunday.