Coming off a loss to the Sherbrooke Vert et Or last weekend, the Stingers were looking to get back to winning ways against the visiting UQTR Patriotes this Sunday at the Stinger Dome.
The Patriotes were also coming off a loss as they arrived at Concordia with one win and two losses in their three opening matches. Back in the outdoor season in the fall, Concordia and UQTR split the season series with a win apiece.
In this match, the visitors started the goalfest in the ninth minute. UQTR’s Florian Galley, recently arrived from Centre de formation de l’Olympique de Marseille, sent a perfect free kick towards Concordia’s back post. The ball found an empty Patriotes player who made no mistake guiding the ball past Stingers’ first half goalkeeper Nicholas Giannone.
The Stingers were unable to get anything going in the opening minutes of the match. As a result, the visitors scored a deserved second goal. In the 22nd minute, the Patriotes worked their way down the centre of the pitch and doubled their lead through Valentin Seger.
“We didn’t get rolling at all,” said Stingers Assistant Coach François Bastien. “I think individually we were poor; everybody was poor. Collectively that transcended into terrible work. We only got into it with 20 minutes left, but it was too little too late.”
In the 35th minute, the Stingers found themselves in the Patriotes penalty area where they managed to earn a penalty kick. From the spot, Sammy Tork made no mistake beating UQTR goalkeeper Raphaël Bélanger-Vaillancourt.
The Patriotes were adamant about keeping a two-goal lead going into halftime. Two minutes later, they worked a ball down the left side and crossed it in front to the top of the box. Galley met the ball with a magisterial volley to score a world-class goal.
The whistle for halftime blew with UQTR up 3-1.
The second half started much like the first. In the 57th minute, the Patriotes added a fourth goal, this time from the spot. Concordia’s Ramin Mohsenin tripped up an UQTR player in the box, resulting in Jean-François Fournier easily scoring from 12 yards out.
Despite being down three goals, the Stingers refused to quit and scored two goals, setting up an exciting finale. In the 68th minute, Concordia’s Andrew Bryan tracked down a cross and laced a shot from the back post to beat the UQTR keeper.
Defender Stephen Meterissian scored nine minutes later with a diving header off a Concordia corner kick. The Patriotes were now only leading 4-3.
The Stingers went all out in search of an equalizer. It never came. Instead, the visitors added a fifth and final goal, four minutes before the end.
“We’re working on a lot of things at practice, especially defensive work,” said Bastien. “We’re just not seeing it in games.”
“Going forward, I think we are creating chances,” he continued, “but defensively, our transition from attacking to defending is extremely slow and it’s costing us.”
Concordia will have to regroup as they will face the first-place Montréal Carabins next Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Complexe Sportif Marie-Victorin.