CSMRO Griffons: Reigning Champions Salvage Draw Versus Dominant Longueuil

Frederico Moojen’s Late Penalty Rescues Point for Griffons.

  • Griffons escaped with a draw on Sunday night. Photo Alexander Perez

It was CS Longueuil’s game to win.

From front to back the visitors were the more complete team, but a handball in the box would be their demise. With a late penalty called at the 94th minute of the game, forward Frederico Moojen’s seventh goal of the season would see Club de Soccer Mont-Royal Outremont Griffons rescue a point on Sunday night at home.

Fielding the same lineup that won last week, CSMRO were intent on grabbing all three points. The game started in positive fashion for the home team. The Griffons opened the game maintaining possession in opposition half.

Griffons were moving well, but the final push towards Longueuil’s net was lacking. CMSRO had a troublesome time trying to open the scoring. In turn this allowed Longueuil to settle into the game.

Possession would later shift in favour of the visitors. Longueuil started to knock on CSMRO’s door, managing to conjure up a few opportunities in the process.

Longueuil would soon open the scoring. The goal courtesy of Dex Maniki who pounced on defender Andre Bona’s low crosses on goalkeeper Nizar Houhou’s near post.

The attack would continue on the Griffons. A header off the crossbar would save them from going down two goals. Houhou’s double save on the previous play highlighted Longueuil’s offensive prowess.

“The reality is that it’s the first 20 minutes that killed us,” said Griffons head coach Luc Brutus. “We gave up the ball and Longueuil had the chance to put their play on the field […] After the first goal we didn’t move.”

The second half was no different. Longueuil continued to put on a great team display against the home team. With Longueuil winning their battles in midfield, CSMRO found themselves pegged back in their defensive zone with little space to attack.

“I think they were mostly more aggressive than us,” said Griffons midfielder Yannick Toker. “They have three, four players that press high, they close well and they play together in the midfield […] it wasn’t easy.”

Midway through the second, the game started to get rough. The aggressive nature of the half allowed CSMRO to show their grit. Towards the closing minutes it was clear they were fighting for the draw.

With several players in front of Longueuil, the referee called a handball. Penalty for CSMRO—a chance to steal a point and force a dominant Longueuil team into a draw. In the dying minutes of the game, Moojen converted—his 98th career goal in the Première ligue de soccer du Québec.

“The only thing I had to do was do what I always do when I take a penalty. Go there and score,” said Moojen.

“Towards the end of the game we started stepping up more, we started winning our battles, getting angrier and it showed,” said Toker. “That’s where the penalty came from.”

Despite the team’s fight towards the end, it’s evident that no one was truly satisfied with the performance. Brutus didn’t hesitate to call out his squad, outlining the team’s lack of motivation to start the game stronger than they did.

“We could’ve scored maybe two but at the end of the day the finishing was not there up until the penalty,” said Brutus.

The lack of offensive pressure was nearly their downfall for CSMRO, a recurring theme throughout the season. Toker stressed the team needs to improve moving forward, pointing to the team’s lack of engagement amongst each other on the field.

“We need to be more sneaky, bring the ball up more but intelligently, play together more,” said Toker. “We’re too individual, when someone gets it they wanna go up the wing and run.”

With the draw CSMRO now sit third in the PLSQ. They’ll looking to keep their three game unbeaten run intact as they travel to face FC Gatineau, Sunday August 13.

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