Trying to break a two-match losing streak, Concordia’s men’s soccer team travelled across town to face the first-place Montréal Carabins on Sunday evening at Complexe sportif Marie-Victorin.
The match could not have started better for Concordia.
In the seventh minute, the Stingers had a seemingly harmless free kick from midfield. A long ball was sent to the far corner of the box where striker Andrew Bryan headed the ball towards goal. The header attempt lobbed over an out-of-position Carabins goalkeeper and fell into to left side of the net.
Even with the early goal against a top side, Concordia refused to park the bus and sit back. Instead, the maroon and gold matched Montréal in almost every aspect of the game.
The Carabins had their first major chance in the 21st minute. Midfielder Colin Parenteau-Michon flew down the right flank and crossed a ball in for teammate Damir Rosic. Rosic’s header sailed over Concordia’s first-half goalkeeper Nicholas Giannone’s goal.
The home side looked for the equalizer 12 minutes later. However, their dangerous free kick sailed just over the crossbar.
In the 40th minute, the Stingers almost added a second goal. Midfielder Gabriel Quinn dribbled his way through the center of the pitch, only to be fouled by a Carabins player. On the ensuing free kick, Amadou Lam curled off the crossbar from 25-yards out.
Despite the miss, Concordia held on to its one-nil lead at the break.
The match took a major turn in the 55th minute. After a scramble in the Carabins penalty area, the referee spotted a foul and awarded the Stingers a penalty kick. Montréal goalkeeper Kenan Morina received a red card on the play, bringing his side down to 10 men.
After tempers settled, Bryan was chosen to shoot the penalty kick. The team’s leading goal-scorer drove a low shot past the replacement goalkeeper to give ConU a 2-0 lead.
The game became a bit easier now for the Stingers with one man extra.
In the 71th minute, Concordia’s Enos Osei intercepted a ball inside Montréal’s half. He sent a through ball to Bryan, who was alone against the goalkeeper. Bryan was unable to get his hat trick as he couldn’t find the back of the net.
Four minutes later, a Concordia counter attack left Alejandro Quinn on a breakaway. After side-stepping the keeper, he rolled his shot towards an empty goal. The ball would not enter the goal as a Carabins defender made a perfect goal line slide to keep the ball out.
In the final 10 minutes, the Carabins threw everything they had at the Stingers. Second-half goalkeeper Remo Taraschi was forced to make some big saves to keep the clean sheet.
The Stingers survived Montréal’s attacks and pulled off an impressive 2-0 victory.
“Today we came out with a good attitude right from the start,” said Stingers head coach Greg Sutton. “We were good in all areas, defensively and offensively, we did what we needed to do.”
“It was a good game and victory against the first place team of the league,” said Concordia midfielder Léonard Loyseau. “There’s a good team spirit. We got to continue playing strong and keep working to get more positive results.”
Concordia will look to build from this victory next Saturday, when they face the UQÀM Citadins at Complexe sportif Marie-Victorin once again. Kickoff is marked for 6 p.m..