Summary of Houston vs. CFM
MONTREAL – The statistics gave fans no reason to believe it, but they did, just like the FC Montreal players.
Lasse Lappalainen scored in stoppage time of the second half to allow the Blue Black to score an unexpected 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo, on Wednesday evening, at the Saputo Stadium.
Under constant cheering from their fans, Montreal was able to come from behind for a rare stretch this season when Lappalainen needed two shots to beat goalkeeper Steve Clarke. This hit gave them a crucial point in the race for the Eastern Conference playoffs.
After some bad luck leading to a Dynamo goal, it seemed like the carrot had expired for FC Montreal (11-16-5). The team was 0-16-1 when they conceded their first goal this season, and not finishing the match in the penalty area did not bode well. With one kick, the 25-year-old Finnish player was able to erase all previously missed opportunities.
“There is little justice,” coach Hernan Losada noted. We’ve worked a lot on finishing, but it’s lacking. There are times when I feel like we have more time than the players think. We are doing good things in the final third and we have to keep going. »
When Lapalainen scored the goal, Losada was careful not to celebrate even though it was an important goal. It’s not that he wasn’t happy to see his team rewarded with a point, it’s that he wanted two extra points.
“I celebrated inside. The coach imagined, smiling, that there was a little Losada who jumped. But I didn’t celebrate because we want to win. We did enough good things to win tonight. Their team is very good when they are 1-0 up and our players gave everything. It’s an important point “The playoff race is still open, but we have to win every game. Especially at home. We thought we could win, but unfortunately we will have to settle for one point.”
CF Montreal has not won in front of its fans in its last four games (0-1-3) and has not won in its last seven games (0-4-3), but it has found every way to stay on the right side of the red line.
The Chicago Fire won their duel against Inter Miami CF, New York City FC had a bye and DC United lost in Austin, leaving Montreal in ninth and final place allowing access to the playoffs in the East, with two games to play.
“You never celebrate a point unless it’s the last game of the year and you’re in the playoffs, but there’s enough confidence in this locker room to take part in it. It’s still in our hands,” Lapalainen said.
Winners of the US Cup for the second time in their history last Wednesday, the Dynamo (12-11-9) thought they had done enough to earn their first win in eight attempts at Estadio Saputo.
When Artur opened the scoring, the Texans ended a 594-minute goalless drought against FC Montreal, but they walked away with just one point.
CF Montreal was without the services of defender Gabriel Corbeau, suspended due to a pile-up of yellow cards, but found in the starting 11 defender Joel Waterman, who missed the last match due to suspension for receiving a red card.
Waterman played a strong game, saving the defense several times, but he indicated that he was not invited to the Canadian national team camp, which heads to Japan next week.
“I want to show consistency in my game and be part of the Canadian team. I want to give myself the best chance to get there, but it’s not my decision. When I heard the news, it gave me extra motivation to keep playing well. I want to prove that I deserve to be there» .
Montreal FC will return to action on Saturday night when it hosts the Portland Timbers. This will be Saputo’s final home game of the season.
We stopped believing it would happen
Montreal started the game strong, with Clarke having to signal himself to block a left-footed shot from Rommel Kyoto in the first minute of play.
Blue and White continued their offensive breakthroughs a few minutes later, but with the same result. Kyoto headed back a cross from Zachary Brault-Guillard, but Clark intervened.
Dynamo had the first scoring opportunity in the 10th minute and took advantage of it. Defender Fernando Alvarez lost his foot on the left side and lost the ball to Ibrahim Aliyu. He handed the ball over to Sebastian Kowalczyk on the penalty kick and the latter passed it to Artur who slotted the ball home with a very precise shot.
But CF Montreal was not shaken by this goal and broke into enemy territory again. Mathieu Choiniere saw his header narrowly miss the goal in the 15th minute, and Nathan Saliba’s shot coming from the edge of the penalty area was blocked by an opponent in the 24th minute.
After that, the two teams remained calm until the end of the first half.
From the first moments of the second half, Aliyu received a long ball and went one-on-one in front of goalkeeper Jonathan Sirius, but Waterman’s retreat prevented him from shooting. Montreal also knocked on the door, but Sanusi Ibrahim couldn’t beat Clarke.
As the minutes passed, tension began to rise on the field. CF Montreal tried their luck a few times, but allowed their fans to celebrate during the final shot of the game.
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