Toronto 8 FC – CS Saint-Laurent 1 (11-1) | Goliath destroys David

The miracle did not come. And Cinderella’s journey is over. But like a good Disney film, the story of CS Saint-Laurent will have left its mark.

The semi-pro club from Montreal was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Canadian Championship on Tuesday evening, after an 8-1 defeat (11-1 in total goals) against Toronto FC at BMO Field.

But you still had to see the faces of the Montrealers when Rickson Aristilde finally allowed Saint-Laurent to get on the mark, at the very end of the match, while the carrots had been cooked since the start.

“It was huge,” commented head coach Nick Razzaghi after the match, comments broadcast on OneSoccer. On the one hand, you don’t want to look like a loser by celebrating when it’s 8-1. But on the other hand, this goal represents so much. It’s 90 minutes of pushing yourself to your limit. And we never stopped pushing, running, playing. We really deserved this goal. »


Nick Razzaghi

This defeat came two weeks after the first leg at Complexe Claude-Robillard. Meeting during which St-Lo demonstrated surprising competitiveness before losing 3-0, honorably.

Already, the task promised to be titanic for Tuesday. A deficit of three goals to make up for players who have one, sometimes two other jobs in addition to soccer? Among the Canadian giants of MLS, with a starting Lorenzo Insigne, and who had just destroyed CF Montreal 5-1 three days earlier? The fable of David against Goliath is more or less like that.

An avalanche of goals

But this time, St-Lo’s metaphorical slingshot was no match for the TFC sword. And the slight suspense of the fight did not last very long.

At the 11e minute, after Toronto had possession of the ball almost entirely, Deandre Kerr made it 1-0 with a superb volley shot, served by a cross from Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty. Two minutes later, the same combination allowed Kerr to score a double, and completely close the books on this engagement.


Obeng Tabi (19) and Deandre Kerr (29)

“They came here to play and it was a first sign of respect towards our players,” Razzaghi submitted.

The TFC slowed down afterwards, and Saint-Laurent took the opportunity to get a little closer to the opposing net. Striker Loïc Kwemi almost scored his team’s first goal in this two-game clash in the 21stebut his shot hit the post.

“Our first message was to get rid of your fear,” said the St-Lo coach. After all, you’re playing at BMO Field for the first time in your life, while you’re used to playing in college courts. »

Then, the Toronto goals kept coming. Kerr completed his hat trick in the 43rde to make it 3-0.

A minute later, St-Lo’s ace in midfield, Ousama Boughanmi, received a red card for raising his foot dangerously in front of an opponent’s face.

Returning from the locker room, Cassius Mailula went for the fourth of the evening for the locals at the 50e.

Then, Derrick Etienne fils scored from the penalty spot to make it 5-0 in the 56the.

Montreal defender Nathan Goulet was the victim of an own goal in the 62nde.

At 72eKerr went for his fourth to make it 7-0.

10 minutes from time, Prince Owosu allowed TFC to break the club’s goals record, scoring 8e of his own and the 11e in total.

It was the only real moment of celebration, but it certainly did some good: at the 89e, Aristilde passed the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Luka Gavran, and the visitors celebrated as if they had just won the match. We won’t blame them, after defending 10 against 11 for more than half-time.

Watch Rickson Aristilde’s goal

“Honestly, I’m very proud of them,” Razzaghi said. They showed a lot of heart, pride and effort. We had 22 shots, which is more than they had [le TFC en a eu 13]. »

“There are huge positives to take away from this meeting, and just as many lessons as well. But that’s why we’re here. We hope it will take us to another level and allow us to come back stronger. »

A valuable first experience

The one-sided final score will still not make us forget the beautiful journey which led the Ligue1 Québec team to this place.

The Montrealers had obtained their ticket to these quarter-finals by virtue of a shootout victory against the Halifax Wanderers, of the Canadian Premier League (PLC), in the preliminary phase, in Nova Scotia. A historic victory for a Quebec club at this level against a PLC team.

Which led to a magical evening at Claude-Robillard, with nearly 6,500 tickets sold and a fiery atmosphere – literally – in the stands.

“We beat a PLC team,” Razzaghi recalled. We were competitive against an MLS team for a half in the last match. We scored a goal today. Now it’s time to see what the future holds. For our first experience, it was worth a lot. Hoping that this will allow Ligue1 teams across the country to see what is possible. »

“Local club, national ambitions”

This epic Canadian championship could well allow CS Saint-Laurent to reap juicy fruits of its hard work.

“Local club, national ambitions”, displayed the supporters of CS Saint-Laurent, to Claude-Robillard, during the first leg. The point here: St-Lo would like to be considered for a hypothetical expansion in PLC.

The team even contacted the Canadian league directly about X.

Last week, a rumor emanating from the Nova Scotia blog Wanderers Notebook suggested that CS St-Lo was in discussions to become a PLC expansion team.

The Quebec team responded, in a press release, that “any potential change” was only “speculative” at this stage. Still, the “possibility of joining the PLC in the future is an exciting prospect,” the club added.

“We understand that this requires careful consideration and the right conditions for our organization to thrive. […] To date, no formal decision has been made. »

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