HARRISBURG, PA – FC Montreal lost 2-1 in its first away game on Saturday, against the Harrisburg City Islanders, at the Skyline Sports Complex.
In the 9th minute, Harrisburg forward Antoine Hoppenot got behind Montreal’s defence. Defender Mitchel Bringolf caught up to him, but tripped him in his run. The referee gave him a straight red card and a penalty for the Islanders. Jimmy McLaughlin converted the penalty in the 11th minute.
“It doesn’t affect only the defensive line, it’s the whole team that is affected,” said defender Zachary Sukunda. “But despite playing with 10 men, I think we adjusted well. It was a positive performance overall.”
With 10 men, Philippe Eullaffroy’s side didn’t give up. In the 29th minute, Victor Omar Ndiaye received a pass down the left wing. He quickly beat the defender facing him, before passing to Louis Béland-Goyette at the limit of the penalty area. The midfielder didn’t hesitate and shot low in the right corner to beat the goalkeeper and bring FC Montreal to back to even score.
“I saw Victor and as usual, he took on the opposing player and looked for a solution,” said Louis Béland-Goyette. “I anticipated his move. He made a perfect back pass and I completed without asking any questions.”
Right at the start of the second half, the Islanders broke down the Bleu-blanc-noir defence. Antoine Hoppenot scored after beating his defender and then goalkeeper David Paulmin in the 46th minute.
Despite the final score, the defenders showed a lot of courage.
At the beginning of the game, Janouk Charbonneau came all the way back from his side to block Antoine Hoppenot, who found himself alone in the Montreal zone. A bit later, midfielder Nazim Belguendouz blocked a shot by Enric Vallez on the goaline.
In the 53rd minute, defender John Dinkota tackled Zach Pfeffer in the penalty area. The referee called the penalty, but this time, Jimmy McLaughlin’s shot hit the post.
FC Montreal tried to come back, sending many passes to Frédéric Lajoie-Gravelle and Victor Ndiaye to try and equalize, but Harrisburg’s defence held on.
“For what we provided in the last 25 metres, we are much better than we've been in the last three weeks,” explained head coach Philippe Eullaffroy. “Many aspects are better, we hope to get some points in the coming weeks.”
FC Montreal will play its next game on Saturday, April 25, against the Richmond Kickers, at 2:30pm, on the synthetic turf at Stade Saputo.
FC Montreal Lineup:
David Paulmin; Zachary Sukunda, Mitchel Bringolf, John Dinkota, Janouk Charbonneau (Alessandro Riggi 84’); Nazim Belguendouz (Jonathan Vallée 40’), Louis Béland-Goyette (Philippe Lincourt-Joseph 84’), Zakaria Messoudi(Mele Temguia 15’); Victor Ndiaye, Fabio Morelli (Yacine Ait Slimane 68’), Frédéric Lajoie-Gravelle.
HAR – Jimmy McLaughlin 11’
MTL – Louis Béland-Goyette 29’
HAR – Antoine Hoppenot 46’
MTL – John Dinkota 40’
HAR – Jose Barril 72’
MTL – Mele Temguia 89’
MTL - Mitchel Bringolf 9’