CF Montreal will face Santos Laguna at Montreal Olympic Stadium in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League round of 16 fixture on Tuesday. Santos Laguna comes into the game with a 1-0 advantage thanks to a late winner scored by Jesus Ocejo in the 88th minute of the first leg in Mexico.
This year, Santos Laguna have been in poor form and are the only winless Liga MX team this season. This past weekend, the Guerreros battled mid-table club FC Juarez, to a scoreless draw.
CF Montreal will have an extra boost while coming to this game after signing Kei Kamara, whose last match in the Major League Soccer was for Minnesota United FC. The 37-year-old Sierra Leone star has arrived to strengthen the team’s forward line after losing young forward Ivy Brisma through injury, and he will stay at the club through the 2022 season with an option year in 2023.
In 359 MLS appearances, he has netted 130 career goals. and he made his MLS debut back in 2006 with the Columbus Crew. His most recent stop saw him playing in Finland with Helsinki IFK scoring five times in 14 games. The Leone Star is the fifth all-time leading scorer in MLS history with 130 goals across 359 matches.
Montreal Sporting Director Olivier Renard has explained why they went for the services of Kamara by stating: “In the absence of numerous attacking options through either injury or illness, namely that of young forward Ivy Brisma, who had a strong preseason training camp, we had to take measures to strengthen the roster.
“Kei is a highly experienced player in MLS whose offensive abilities will help us both on the pitch and in the locker room with our young group of players. We’re happy to welcome him to the club.”
With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Tuesday night won’t be a whole rocking house, but at 50 per cent capacity, CF Montreal could potentially have 31,000 fans in attendance to help give Montreal an edge.
The Olympic stadium is the second home for CF Montreal. Home of the 1976 Summer Games and the defunct Montreal Expos of the MLB, the ‘Big Owe,’ as it’s known in Canada due to construction cost overruns with the stadium finally being paid off in 2006, has hosted numerous soccer matches over the years.
It’s worth noting in the attendance history of the CONCACAF Champions League, Montreal has been home to two of the top four all-time attended matches.
With Santos Laguna holding a 1-0 advantage, whatever the result is on Tuesday night, the winner of this matchup will either face Cruz Azul of Liga MX or Forge FC of the Canadian Premier League in March.