FC Montreal Suffer 5-0 Loss to Harrisburg City in Season Finale
Plumhoff Records Hat-Trick to Drown Montreal in Season Finale
With hopes of making the United Soccer League playoffs already dashed, FC Montreal hoped to end their season by finally beating the Harrisburg City Islanders, a team that has defeated them all season long.
Unfortunately for FC Montreal, the bleu-blanc-noir could not get a win in their final game of their inaugural season.
“They have our number. I don’t know why, I don’t know how,” said FC Montreal manager Simon Gatti, who filled in for manager Philippe Eullaffroy for the second straight game as he is currently in France for a coaching clinic.
Five goals, including a hat trick from Harrisburg City midfielder Jason Plumhoff, were more than enough to beat FC Montreal 5-0 at Stade Saputo’s synthetic field this past Wednesday evening.
In three contests against Harrisburg, Montreal has lost all three games by a combined score of 13-1.
The Islanders, who still have USL playoff aspirations, made their mark from the ninth minute of the match. Forward Craig Foster entered the right side of the box and passed the ball back to midfielder
Jason Plumhoff, leading to his first goal of the evening.
Ten minutes later, Antoine Hoppenot, a loanee from Major League Soccer club Philadelphia Union, and injury replacement for Foster, contributed to his team’s lead. The French-American ran to the left side of the penalty area and waited patiently before passing the ball to Plumhoff. The midfielder then scored his second goal of the day, and FC Montreal couldn’t handle Harrisburg City’s attack.
“I think it was the transition on the defense,” said fullback Aron Mkungilwa who had his first professional start. “[Harrisburg’s] strength was the offensive transition, they make good runs across the field, they dive under the backline very well and we didn’t adjust to their speed and counter attacks. That’s what hurt today.”
The second half did not look pretty for the Montrealers either. In the 47th minute, Hoppenot added to his team’s lead with the third goal of the game before forward Andrew Lubahn added another goal in the 54th minute.
Finally, in the dying moments of the game, Harrisburg added insult to injury with a fifth goal. Forward Garret Pettis intercepted an FC Montreal pass before sprinting towards goal and passing the ball to Plumhoff who ended up one-on-one with FC Montreal goalkeeper Yann-Alexandre Fillion. The Islanders’ leading scorer beat the keeper to record a hat-trick.
Despite finishing with a 8-16-4 record, FC Montreal managed to find its wings around the halfway mark of their season, winning six out of eight games, and were even considered by USL pundits as the hottest team in the league. Unfortunately for the bleu-blanc-noir, the team wasn’t able to turn their hot streak into a run for a playoff spot and went on to win only one game in their last six matches of the season.
While FC Montreal found themselves in a match that presumably didn’t mean much to anyone except their opponents, centre-back Jonathan Grant thought otherwise.
“I think the whole team felt like we needed a result no matter what situation we were in, so we were playing for a result, we were trying to end their season,” said Grant.
“The guys we’re up for it especially after a situation like [the game against New York Red Bulls II.] There was even more of a will to want to do well because you have just experienced the feeling of beating a good team,” said Gatti. “The guys were very confident. I don’t think they felt like it was the last game and they didn’t care at all.”