Montreal Football Club began a four-game 11-day streak away from home with a positive result with a 1-1 draw with Orlando City on Wednesday evening at Exploria Stadium.
It was a goal for defender Rudi Camacho, in the 51st minute, during a paused stage of play that provided this important point for Wilfried Nancy’s men.
Chris Muller scored Orlando City’s goal in the final moments of the first half.
With this point in the standings, along with DC United’s loss to New England Revolution, Montreal (11-10-9) are sixth with 42 points.
Wednesday’s meeting marked a return to the squad for defender Kiki Struna, who has played in the first game since August 27. Struna’s presence made it possible to fill in the absence of Joel Waterman, who is suspended due to the accumulation of yellow cards.
In addition, the Montreal club was again deprived of the services of striker Romel Koyoto and midfielders Victor Wanyama and Lacey LaPalainen, and all three were injured.
The Montreal players will train in Orlando on Thursday and Friday before returning to Canada to face Toronto FC, already excluded from the upcoming series, on Saturday at BMO Field.
On Monday, Wilfried Nancy warned Orlando City would avenge the Sept. 15 failure, and the players of the Florida squad passed the head coach to Montreal for inspiration.
Even if possession time was in favor of FC Montreal during this first half (51 percent to 49), the locals took advantage of the match from the first minute to the last minute, to the point of attempting eight shots towards a net. James Pantimes, against none for the Montreal team.
We had barely started the 16th minute of play when Orlando had already taken five corner kicks. A brave defensive line, especially Camacho, and inaccurate shots kept Montreal tied 0-0.
The deadlock was broken in the 45th minute of play when a cross from Rowan found Muller completely alone on the left side, in the penalty area.
Muller had no trouble kicking the ball at the top of a wide open net on what was the only shot on target in the half from both sides.
Montreal started the second half better, and came very close to equalizing the score in the 48th minute.
Inserted in place of Matko Miljevic at the start of the second half, Sonosi Ibrahim literally stole a goal that Pedro Galeese, who extended his left arm to block the ball, extended after a high pass from Matteo Cchoener.
Three minutes later, Galeese couldn’t do anything about Camacho’s header after a corner kick from Djordje Mihajlovic who, as a result, got a 15th assist in 2021.
The building became more menacing during the last quarter of the game and Pantemis had to be on alert to stop Daryl Dike’s dangerous incursion in the 76th minute.
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