Men’s Soccer: Stingers Suffer Late 2-1 Loss At Home to Rouge et Or
Late Goal By Nico Hernandez Give Laval Late Win Against Concordia
An 89th minute goal by Laval Rouge et Or forward Nico Hernandez gave the visitors all three points at Concordia Stadium Friday night. With the 2-1 loss, the Stingers were denied a chance to leapfrog Laval for second place in the Réseau de Sport Étudiant du Québec.
Laval started strong as forward Marc-Olivier Kouo Dibongue scissored a volley in the center of the box for the game’s opening goal in the 12th minute on a cross supplied by Philippe Renaud, who had space on the left hand side.
The Stingers tried to respond shortly after but a congested midfield proved difficult for the Maroon and Gold. Concordia adjusted to the long ball in an attempt to generate offense throughout the match but were unable to locate one another beyond Laval’s defense.
“We just didn’t have enough time on the ball to string a few passes together” said Stingers head coach Greg Sutton. “That’s just the way the game played out, we didn’t have much time in the midfield, it was pretty compact.”
The Stingers’ only goal of the match came from a set piece just outside the opposing penalty box in the 26th minute as midfielder Amadou Lam, whose first thought was to send in a cross, chose to fire the ball past diving Laval goalkeeper Nizar Houhou.
“We were about to do a set play, a passing set play,” said Lam, “but I saw [Houhou] see that I was gonna pass it so I just opted for the shot.”
Lam’s spontaneous decision prompted a change in momentum for the Stingers as they generated three additional offensive area set pieces and a header from Jack MacDonald, who watched the ball sail across the face of goal minutes before halftime, earning a gasp from the home team spectators.
As the match progressed in the second half, the Stingers took a more conservative approach as Laval became the more threatening side generating four corners and five shot –four of which hit the target.
“Those types of games that you see you’re not doing that well you always try to get a result,” said Lam, “but unfortunately we weren’t lucky.’’
Laval’s attack proved to be too strong for the Stingers in the closing stages as Concordia lost its shape in defence allowing a cross from substitute Hervé Kajiji, who found a streaking Nico Hernandez in the box in the 89th minute to fire the volley in the back of the net, securing all three points in the match.
“It was a game that was gonna be won in the box and we weren’t good enough in the box at both ends and it came back to haunt us” said Sutton. “We have to flip the page and move on and get ready for the next one.”
The Stingers now find themselves on a four game road trip beginning with the Université de Montréal Carabins on Sunday, Oct. 2 aiming to stay on top of the McGill Redmen and UQAM Citadins, who only sit one point behind third place.
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