CSMRO 1, Dynamo de Québec 1: Griffons Let First Place Slip Following Late Equalizer

Disappointing Effort Leaves MRO Two Points Behind Blainville Entering Final Stretch of the Season.

The Mont-Royal Griffons will look to regain momentum in league race for title after giving up late equalizer. Alex Perez

All championship teams — without exception — find ways to win or get the results they need. Whether they play well or not, whether the result was deserved or not, they get the points needed.

That was not the case this Sunday, as the Club de Soccer Mont-Royal-Outremont Griffons drew the Dynamo de Québec 1-1 at the TMR Recreation Center.

This came following Blainville’s dramatic come-from-behind-win against Fabrose that helped them secure three crucial points. Now sitting two points behind the leaders, a visibly upset Head Coach Luc Brutus says they have nobody to blame but themselves.

“We were not there to perform today. It was a very bad game from everyone,” said Brutus. “If you’re not hungry to win the championship, then you have no chance.”

The flow of the game was largely dominated by the Griffons for the majority of the game and Mouade Ouzane’s second goal in as many outings put them 1-0 up after nearly an hour of controlling play.

However, one wayward play can turn a good game into a disastrous one. That one play happened 15 minutes after MRO’s go-ahead goal. Sloppy defending from the entire Griffons back line allowed Québec forward Edwin Ortiz-Bergeron to stroll into the area untouched and put home an easy finish.

The rest of the game was an exercise in futility for the Griffons as they attempted to reclaim their lead with no tangible success. What followed was half chances and a missed golden opportunity with four minutes left in the game that was put just wide. The missed chances are something club captain Renan Dias says needs immediate attention.

“It just comes down to our level of focus and how we prepare for games from now,” said Dias. “We have to get back to our style of play which is unfortunately something we didn’t do today. We’re a better team than what we showed today and we need to show that every game for the rest of the season.”

Despite remaining unbeaten, their position in the league unchanged, and MRO grabbing the same result they did last week, the sentiment surrounding this result could not be more different.

This time last week they had kept the title race tied up after a dramatic last-minute equalizer against league-leaders Blainville. While that draw felt like a step forward, this week felt like two steps back.

“Every team wants to control their own destiny and not have to rely on other teams’ results but unfortunately that’s the position we’re in,” said Dias. “All we can do is get back to our game and keep on getting better results. This feels like a loss because of how it played out but we have to put it behind us.”

The Griffons’ next game is against eighth-place Longeuil who have struggled defensively this year. Their first meeting ended in a 4-1 win and the next matchup is on that cannot be taken lightly.

“Every team has their strengths but we know that they [Longeuil] have had a tough time defending this year and it’s something we have to press a lot next week,” said Brutus. “What’s important now is that we get our momentum back and get out style and rhythm back.”

MRO will travel to Longueuil on Saturday, July 13 at 6:00PM with hopes of starting a new winning streak.