Horned By Rhinos

FC Montreal Drops Game Versus Rochester

  • It was an unpleasantly sunny and windy Saturday afternoon at Saputo Stadium’s turf field for FC Montreal as they lost 3-0 to the Rochester Rhinos. Photo Yacine Bouhali

  • It was an unpleasantly sunny and windy Saturday afternoon at Saputo Stadium’s turf field for FC Montreal as they lost 3-0 to the Rochester Rhinos. Photo Yacine Bouhali

It was an unpleasantly sunny and windy Saturday afternoon at Saputo Stadium’s turf field for FC Montreal as they lost 3-0 to the Rochester Rhinos.

Rhinos midfielder Jonny Mendoza opened the score in the first half and it only got worse for FC Montreal. Their defender Franck Zoué was slapped with a red card in the 65th minute. Rhinos forward Christian Volesky then put the nails in FC’s coffin, striking twice.

“Globally, the result is very disappointing, our game was better but only for an hour,” said FC Montreal head coach Philippe Eullaffroy. “We were better on our ball handling against a very experienced team. We had more power on the game for 50 to 55 minutes then after the red card the game was a bit of a free-for-all for about 15 minutes.”

FC Montreal started playing offensive soccer seconds after kickoff. However, Rochester’s players quickly handled the home team and started playing a game of their own. They had most of the offensive chances and held the ball during most of the first half.

The Rhinos’ height and toughness proved to be more than Montreal could handle. In the 35th minute, fullback Onua Obasi ran across the left side of the field. His cross into the penalty area was blocked but midfielder Jonny Mendoza took the rebound at the top of the box and fired in a high shot to open the score for Rochester.

FC Montreal’s Fabio Morelli was the player marking the tall fullback.

“They were physical but on that play I should have simply fouled him a little earlier on the pitch and not let him go, then Louis [Béland-Goyette] misses his tackle. They were more physical than us but it’s not an excuse.”

The red card given to Frank Zoué after a tackle inches above the box changed the game. The 20-year-old’s tackle to stop Rochester forward Hugh Dixon’s run resulted in an automatic expulsion.

“When we got the red, we fell to ten men with a goal down so instead of going defensively, we went offensively and defended with three men,” explained goalkeeper David Paulmin. “After that we were outnumbered at the back and it was hard.”

With only three at the back, the bleu-blanc-noir were an easy target. Dixon and substitute player Christian Volesky combined twice to bring the lead to 3-0 and the 68th and 71st minute.

Despite the loss, Paulmin played a good game, making multiple saves and keeping Rochester’s lead to three. He found that he didn’t have a bad game but didn’t enjoy the loss.

“I’m a team player so it’s tough for me to only think about my individual performance. I think for the team and a 3-0 score line is difficult especially at home.”

After two games, FC Montreal has conceded five goals and still haven’t scored one. Eullaffroy is not pleased by the stats but calls for patience. He said that it has been a long time since this team, who played in the Premier Development League last season, did not score in two consecutive games. However, in higher levels, teams get punished when they don’t make the right decisions.

“We expected that the first months would be difficult and we’re in the middle of it now,” said Eullaffroy. “It’s going to be tough and that’s learning. If we came into this league having won our first two games, it might not have been the right place for us…they will have to accept it and if we get our first win after 15 games then so be it but we’ll have 26 guys from the club who will have
progressed a whole lot.”

The race is on to find who will score the first goal in FC Montreal’s short history. Fabio Morelli couldn’t hide his intentions. He had the game’s best chance putting a foot on a beautiful cross by Yacine Ait-Slimane but the ball went wide of the net.

“It’s definitely something I’d like to have,” said Morelli. “Then again, I don’t mind if it’s somebody else as long as we get it.”

FC Montreal will play their next game on the road on April 18th against the Harrisburg City Islanders at 7 PM. The next home game will be on April 25th when the Richmond Kickers visit Saputo Stadium’s turf field.

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