The Stingers closed out Friday night’s double-header against UQTR with a 3-1 victory, but they also unfortunately lost one of their better players in Enos Osei.
The start of the game did not show one team taking the upper hand in the action, most of the play was focused in the middle of the field. The first real chance of the game came at the 10th minute, when Concordia’s Matthijs Eppinga received a pass from Karim Haroun and batted the ball off the right post.
After this play, the Stingers started to take control of the game and were more aggressive than their counterparts. At the 14th minute, the ball found Eppinga in the area; he eluded a defender but had no angles on his strike, being pinned next to the back line. Moments later, Enos Osei was able to get in open field but was neutralized by the Patriotes’ defence, only putting a long shot on goal. For the 10 minutes that followed, Eppinga and his teammates unleashed a flurry of attacks towards the UQTR’s goal.
A little over 20 minutes into the game, the Stingers started to let the Patriotes get back in the game. Two minutes later, off a free kick by UQTR’s Robin Marceau, the Patriotes’ Geoffrey Jouvin was able to lose his defender and took the unattended ball, leaving him alone against Concordia’s goalkeeper Khalid Ismail, who he beat without difficulty.
After the goal, Concordia continued to apply pressure and create scoring chances. Then, at the 35th minute, the Patriotes’ Marc-Antoine Simard hit Osei, who had just passed the ball, with a two-footed, spikes-up plunge to his shins. The hit was so forceful that it was heard all around the stadium. Simard only received a yellow card on the play. Osei stayed down for a long period, unable to walk; he ultimately left the stadium on a stretcher with ice on his immobilized left ankle and tibia. The Stingers’ therapist said that Osei suffered a lower body injury.
When the game resumed, the Stingers seemed to channel their emotion from what happened to their teammate and played with vigour to try to even the score. During the stoppage time, they succeeded when Eppinga passed to Claude-Arthur Diesse who, alone in front of an open goal, had little difficulty finishing the play. The Stingers hit early in the second half only three minutes in, Diesse returned the compliment, giving the ball to Eppinga who stepped beside the goalkeeper and kicked it in for the goal.
During the second half, Concordia looked like the better team and continuous pressure on the opposing defence created many scoring chances for the Stingers. At the 65th minute, after a handball by a Patriotes defender that prompted a penalty shot, Eppinga scored his second of the contest with a forceful strike to secure the 3-1 triumph.
The second half was undermined by many fouls and yellow cards, with the referee’s choices at times seeming inexplicable. For example, the head referee gave UQTR’s Geoffrey Jouvin two yellow cards and sent him off for disagreeing with one of his decisions, leaving the Patriotes a man short for the rest of the game.
After the game, head coach Lloyd Barker said that the win “was nothing short of what [they] deserved” but they still have a “big hill to climb.”
The men’s soccer team will face Sherbrooke next on Oct. 15 at 8:30 p.m. at Concordia Stadium.