The Stingers men’s soccer team hosted rivals McGill at Concordia Stadium on Friday night. Concordia grabbed the lead in the first half, but McGill equalized the score in the 78′ minute off a corner kick.
Concordia made three changes to their starting lineup. Midfielder Joseph Couto and forward Gabriel Quinn replaced Anasse Brouk and Sammy Tork. Goalkeeper Remo Taraschi made his first start of the season ahead of Nicholas Giannone.
The visitors threatened early in the match. In the 3′ minute, McGill’s Alexis Pradié got on the end of a cross and narrowly missed his header attempt.
Eight minutes later, the Redmen were at it again. This time, it was forward Marc Palaci-Olgun who fired his shot over the bar.
The Stingers recovered after their slow start and started to find some rhythm. In the 24′ minute, midfielder Eduardo Mazzonna picked up a loose ball in midfield and took off towards the net. He sent a pass to Andrew Bryan, whose first-touch allowed him to beat a McGill defender. Bryan centered a low ball for Mazzonna who continued his run towards goal. He made no mistake in
tapping the ball past the goalkeeper. This goal separated both sides at half-time.
Four minutes after the restart, McGill came close to tying the game. Stingers goalkeeper Taraschi made a fingertip save to keep his side ahead.
Two minutes later, Concordia striker Bryan almost doubled his team’s lead. He was played in by a good pass, but his shot did not test the McGill goalkeeper.
The next chance came in the 76′ minute. Stingers substitute Claude Diesse recovered a bouncing ball just outside the box and fired a driven shot inches wide. McGill made the Stingers pay for that miss.
In the final seconds of the match, the Stingers produced one last effort. Midfielder Fabian Troche found space, but he struck his shot just left of the goal.
“I think we played well,” said Mazzonna, who scored his first goal of the season. “We should have stayed more compact on defense. We let it slip at the end.”
“It was the best game of the season by far,” said assistant coach Francois Bastien who filled in for coach Barker. “We are progressing every game and I think we deserved the three points.”
Bastien sees a major difference in this year’s team compared to last year’s. The Stingers are more organized on both sides of the field, they just needs to work on defending set-pieces.
“We have to work on set-plays,” he added.”Defensively, we’ve been struggling all year with those, and it cost us again. We were in the driver seat this game. We controlled and had chances. When McGill started pressuring at the end we struggled a little bit, but overall it was a good game.”
The Stingers next match is Thursday, Sept. 20 against the UQÀM Citadins at Collège Bois-de-Boulogne. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m.