FC Montreal Ties Wilmington At Home
Wilmington Snaps Montreal’s Win Streak, Remain Unbeaten
A five game winning streak looked too good to be true for FC Montreal. However, a late goal by forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel earned Montreal a 2-2 draw as the team remains unbeaten in five games
“It’s not too bad given the game we played, which wasn’t the best game of the season,” said Montreal midfielder Philippe Lincourt-Joseph. “We showed character in the second half because we got back in the game but we need to improve the floating moments where we are less concentrated.”
Montreal started well as they opened the scoring at the 15th minute. Alessandro Riggi grabbed a mishandled ball by Wilmington defender Michael Mecham to put Montreal up 1-0.
Near the end of the first half, Hammerheads midfielder Matthew Barnes-Homer slid to take the ball and hit Montreal goalkeeper David Paulmin in the face. He suffered a cut to the face and at halftime, the Montreal therapist performed the concussion protocol and the substitute keeper Luca Leone, who had not played in the United Soccer League as of this game, stepped on the field.
Barnes-Homer was given a yellow card on the challenge, one of various calls that the Montreal coaching staff did not agree with. So much so that head coach Philippe Eullaffroy was ejected after an intervention in which a Montreal player was yellow-carded for embellishment late in the game.
“It’s tough not to talk about [the refereeing], but it had an influence on the game unfortunately,” said assistant coach Simon Gatti. “For me if you make a mistake and you say that you made a mistake, I don’t have a problem. But they have to man up, they have to take responsibility. After that, c’est la vie.”
After two Wilmington goals in the second half scored by midfielder Austin Martz and forward Kyle Parker, it looked like Montreal was going to lose for the first time in five games. However in the 89th minute, forward Baddredine Boulajoul headed the ball into Jackson-Hamel’s race and got his team a tie, keeping them unbeaten through five games.
“We’re happy for the guys, of the fight that they put to score at five minutes from the final whistle and to show that we’re not gonna give up,” said Gatti. “If we had a few more minute we could have scored a third goal.”
After a difficult rivalry game against Toronto FC II, which saw them arrive in Montreal Monday evening at two in the morning, Gatti was proud of his side. Gatti gives credit to the two players playing the central defender position in a game 48 hours after the Toronto matchup.
“We have a central defender who is not a central defender in Nevello [Yoseke], we have Brandon [Onkony] who is [19 years old] who is new and still needs time to adapt,” said Gatti. “And there’s [Luca Leone] that gets subbed in at the half that hasn’t played. That’s the spine of the team there.”
With this in mind, Lincourt-Joseph believes that the team remain unbeaten throughout the remainder of the season. With games against Louisville City FC, the Charleston Battery and New York Red Bulls II, who are respectively second, fifth and first in the USL’s eastern conference, it will not be an easy task for Montreal.
“Last year we [Louisville] them 4-0 at their place so we know every team in this league are teams we can beat,” said Lincourt-Joseph. “We showed that we had the level to play.”
FC Montreal will start the home stretch of the 2016 USL season by taking on Louisville on September 3 at Complexe Sportif Claude Robillard
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