FC Montreal Win First Points at Home Over Pittsburgh Riverhounds

  • FC Montreal’s first ever points at Complexe Sportif Claude Robillard came by way of a 4-1 win in a convincing fashion over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Photo Pablo Ortiz

  • FC Montreal’s first ever points at Complexe Sportif Claude Robillard came by way of a 4-1 win in a convincing fashion over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Photo Pablo Ortiz

FC Montreal’s first ever points at Complexe Sportif Claude Robillard came by way of a 4-1 win in a convincing fashion over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

Montreal’s goals came from midfielders Alessandro Riggi, Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla and Nevello Yoseke and from forward and Impact first-team loanee Anthony Jackson-Hamel. The lone Riverhounds goal came from forward Corey Hertzog.

“It feels good because it’s at home. There’s a good buildup in the last four-five home game,” said Riggi in French. “Today, we were able to last the whole 90 minutes and score four goals in one game which is very important and feels good.”

FC Montreal had the best-performing first half of their 2016 season against the Riverhounds. The goal scoring began in the very first minute, when Tabla passed to midfielder Alessandro Riggi whose shot hit the post before getting to the back of the net. This felt especially good for Riggi who has had a difficult season this year.

“I build with every game. This year was difficult because of [ankle injuries and a concussion] and the lack of a preseason,” said Riggi. “We adapted with the staff as much as possible and we’re going to try and finish the season with the real Riggi.”

The scoring continued ten minutes later, at the 11th minute, as midfielder Marco Dominguez who was returning from injury, sent a long ball to Tabla who took a shot from inside the box and gave Montreal the two-goal lead.

Montreal added to their domination when at the 26th minute, midfielder Mastanabal Kacher passed to Tabla who set up Impact first team loanee, forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel with a long ball. Jackson-Hamel beat Pittsburgh’s goalkeeper to the ball and buried Montreal’s third goal of the night.

“I hope that this will be the start of a streak, we don’t have one yet so hopefully it will stay,” —FC Montreal head coach Philippe Eullaffroy

Pittsburgh however got a goal back when defender Janouk Charbonneau made a weak back pass towards goalkeeper David Paulmin. Riverhounds forward Corey Hertzog took advantage, intercepted the pass and got a goal back for the Pennsylvanians.

Despite the two-goal lead, Montreal head coach Philippe Eullaffroy warned his players at the half.

“I wasn’t really happy at the half because in the last 15 minutes of the first half we dropped bit into easiness and they had to step up in the start of the second, which they did,” said Eullaffroy in French.

After midfielder Nevello Yoseke scored his first goal in the United Soccer League to bring the score to 4-1, the dies were rolled and Montreal left with the lofty win. A win that may ring a bell to FC Montreal fans as it was with a 4-2 win to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at home that propelled the team to a winning stint.

The streak saw Montreal earning a 6-2-2 record in a span of ten games and led to the team being described as the hottest in the USL.

“I hope that this will be the start of a streak, we don’t have one yet so hopefully it will stay,” said Eullaffroy with a smile.

The Riggi-Jackson-Tabla Trio:

Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla was inspiring with a tally of one goal and two assists in only 26 minutes. Riggi saw himself scoring a goal before many fans had even found a seat and Jackson-Hamel scored to seal Montreal’s best first half of the season. The RJT trio are tied for best goal-scorer on the team with four goals and are constantly feeding one another.

“When we’re all on the same page, we help each other and it’s extremely fast when we get forward,” said Riggi. “We’re not selfish, we help each other. As you saw today, everyone got a goal, everyone was happy and we leave with a win.”

Montreal will now try to build on that streak, and recreate last season’s form, with a road game on Saturday August 13 in South Carolina against the Charleston Battery.

“For Charleston we will have to get up at four in the morning and it will be a fifth game in 15 days,” said Eullaffroy. “Recovery will be very, very important to play [the Battery] in the best conditions.”

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