Stingers let lead slip away in final minutes

The Concordia men’s soccer team was missing some of its sting as several key players were either away or injured in a 2-2 tie against UQTR in a Thanksgiving day game at Concordia on Monday afternoon.
For the Stingers, ranked #6 in the country entering the game, it was their third straight draw after a string of four victories to open the season. They were playing the second place team in the Quebec conference, and the seventh ranked team in the nation.
“We played hard, with a lot of heart”, observed Stinger coach Vladimir Pavlicik after the match, “It was a very tough game, these were obviously two very strong teams. We’re still missing some key players, but I give the boys a lot of credit for playing hard. I’m very pleased with them,” he said.
Captain and defensive cornerstone Frank Pons missed the game along with midfielders Xavier Renard and Mehdi Mourali because of previous obligations to their club teams. Speedy midfielder Anass Agnoug was out with an injury, and goalies David Molina and Richard Green were also injured, which forced Theo Analitis into another start in goal for the Stingers.
The UQTR Patriotes opened the scoring in the 30th minute as striker Nicolas Moussavou headed in a long throw-in past a diving Analitis. The Stingers immediately made changes to add offense as Steven Craig moved up to striker alongside Ammar Bedawieh. The changes were unsuccessful as the Stingers were down by a goal at halftime.
Striker Ameen Brereton came in early in the second half to add some speed to the Concordia attack, as the Stingers played controlled, aggressive soccer to open the second half.
Midfielder Stefan Takac scored for Concordia in the 62nd minute on a magnificent header following some slick footwork and an accurate cross from Bedawieh. Takac leapt and redirected the lob into the top of the net for the equalizer.
Coach Pavlicik praised Bedawieh and Takac after the game: “Ammar again had a very good game and created a lot of dangerous situations. Stefan Takac was crisp with his crosses and corners, he set up a lot of opportunities for us, and I wish we could have converted a few more of those. Excellent game for Stefan,” he said.
The Stingers did not let up after the goal, as Takac and Bedawieh led counter-attacks into the Patriotes’ zone and were rewarded with scoring chances that neither could convert. Concordia was then awarded a corner kick in the 75th minute, and Takac lobbed a pass to defenceman Kevin Fiset, who headed the ball. It bounced off a Patriote player and the goalie before crossing the goal line for the go-ahead goal.
Brereton was given a red card shortly after the goal for punching a UQTR player in retaliation for being pushed near the sideline. The Stingers played with one man short the rest of the way.
A late goal tied the score for UQTR in the 87th minute after some offensive pressure. Patriotes midfielder Cedric Henoux received a pass in the goal mouth and scored with a low strike past Analitis.
The tie keeps Concordia atop the Quebec conference with a record of 4-0-3 and 15 points. The Stingers’ next home game is Sunday, October 21st against UQAM.

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