Mistakes Cost FC Montreal

FC Montreal Still Winless After Loss to Richmond

  • FC Montreal lost 1-0 to the Richmond Kickers this past Saturday afternoon at Saputo Stadium’s turf field. FC Montreal has not won a game, or scored a goal, at home all season. Photo Yacine Bouhali

  • FC Montreal lost 1-0 to the Richmond Kickers this past Saturday afternoon at Saputo Stadium’s turf field. FC Montreal has not won a game, or scored a goal, at home all season. Photo Yacine Bouhali

A tight and heated game on and off the pitch saw Montreal lose 1-0 to the Eastern Conference leading Richmond Kickers on Saturday afternoon at Saputo Stadium’s turf field.

A goal by Richmond’s forward Matthew Delicate gave Montreal its fourth straight loss. Philippe Eullaffroy’s side are now 0-4-0 and have not yet scored a goal at home.

Five players from the Montreal Impact were made available to FC Montreal for Saturday’s game. Four of the five—goalkeeper Eric Kronberg, midfielders Jeremy Gagnon-Laparé and Eric Alexander as well as newly acquired forward Kenny Cooper—started the game.

One would assume that the addition of Major League Soccer players would improve the team. While it didn’t translate into a victory, the team still saw their inclusion in the squad as a positive.

“It doesn’t affect the chemistry because they come with a really good attitude, they are involved and they communicate a lot,” said head coach Philippe Eullaffroy. “The guys feel much stronger when the [Impact] play around them.”

“I think they’re all experienced players and it helps us learn as players,” said FC Montreal defender Zachary Sukunda. “It helps me and it helps the team move forward.”

Some of the new players did not gel perfectly with the squad. Cooper, who was playing his first minutes in the Montreal Impact organization, had some troubles. Despite getting a good shot on goal in the opening minutes of Saturday’s match, communication issues occurred between him and the rest of FC Montreal’s offence.

The first and only goal of the game occurred at the 31st minute, thanks to a costly turnover by FC Montreal central defender John Dinkota. His pass was intercepted by Kickers leading scorer George Davis IV, who ran down the left side of the box before crossing the ball to fellow forward Matthew Delicate. Delicate’s ensuing shot beat Kronberg and gave Richmond the early lead.

It has been a steep learning curve for Dinkota, who has made costly mistakes this season. In FC Montreal’s home opener, he was responsible for an own goal which secured Toronto FC2’s victory.

“John Dinkota did not have a good game,” said FC Montreal head coach Philippe Eullaffroy. “His transition game wasn’t there today and since we were dominating more and more it seemed more important to have a solid first pass than a defensive game,”

Later in the match, the referees missed a handball in the Richmond penalty box that could have given FC Montreal a penalty kick. The call did not bode well with the Montreal coaching staff, including head coach Eullaffroy, who spent the next five minutes arguing with referees.

“The linesman saw [the handball] but [the referees] told me it wasn’t intentional,” said Eullaffroy. “We need to live with this. I hope that we will have a favorable decision going our way as well.”

Midfielder Louis Béland-Goyette expressed frustration over FC Montreal’s season to date, including their lack of goal scoring at home.

“It’s very frustrating especially with my missed chance in the game today,” added Béland-Goyette. “Our positioning in front of the goal is a thing we have to work on in the next few weeks. One goal in four games; that’s unacceptable.

“We play well and it’s that little mistake that breaks everything,” added Béland-Goyette. “They are careless mistakes so we need to work on our sharpness in training and stay focused for the whole game.”

For Sukunda, there is frustration but patience is still the mantra.

“We came into this league as underdogs and right now we don’t have many points on the board, but I think we’re going to come out strong.”

FC Montreal will play their next game at home in another derby match against the Rochester Rhinos on May 2 at 4:00 p.m. Eullaffroy’s squad will try to avenge a 3-0 loss suffered in week three to their old United Soccer League rivals.

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