Strong Second Half Not Enough

Five Games Without a Goal, Six Games Without a Win

A second half surge wasn’t enough for Concordia’s men’s soccer team last Friday as they fell to the Université du Québec à Montréal Citadins in a nail-biter.

While the Stingers would have prefered a win, assistant coach François Bastien was pleased with his team’s effort. “Today was encouraging,” said Bastien. “We lost 1-0, but I think we deserved much better.”

The Stingers entered the game on a bad note. After being outscored 10-0 in their previous two matches against top-ranked Laval and Montreal, they appeared shaky.

Despite having two chances in the first five minutes of play, the Stingers fell back and defended most of the first half.

After conceding several fouls in their defensive end, the Stingers were constantly under attack. Early in the first, UQAM midfielder Agday Imad’s thunderous blast left ConU goalkeeper Nicholas Giannone’s crossbar rattling.

Despite numerous threatening free kicks, it was a 24th-minute header that opened the scoring. A free kick driven in from the right side was met by an unmarked UQAM center back Maxime Pharand, leaving Giannone no chance.

The goal seemed to ignite the Stingers, as the second half saw an energized Maroon and Gold squad.

Fifty-eight minutes in, ConU had three consecutive corners—forcing amazing stops out of UQAM keeper Alexandre Rouge on two of them.

Closing out a strong second half, the Stingers had their chances, but couldn’t capitalize. In the 82nd minute, the Stingers had a loose ball rolling through UQAM’s six-yard box, but they couldn’t manage to convert.

Even with a man advantage, after UQAM’s Salim Dahman second yellow card in the dying moments of the game, the Stingers weren’t able to rescue a point.

“I think we played a good game,” said Bastien. “At the beginning, we weren’t using the wide guys enough. In the second half, we started using them and we started knocking the ball wide, which created space in the middle.”

The Stingers close out their dismal season—they’re 1-8-1 so far—with two games next weekend. They first travel to Sherbrooke Oct. 28 to face the Vert et Or, before returning to Concordia Stadium Oct. 30 to face the McGill Redmen. Games are at 8:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., respectively.

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