CF Montreal won on the road in Houston for the first time in their franchise history thanks to a late game-winning goal by Lassi Lappalainen.
CF Montreal secure road win against the Dynamo in Houston
A crazy first half in Houston
Through the first five minutes of the game, it was the visitors with most of the possession and started applying pressure on the Dynamo defense and their first scoring chance was a cross that the Houston keeper Steve Clark punched away. Houston opened the scoring seven minutes later when Sebastien Ferriera got a great aerial pass from Hector Herrera and beat James Pantemis.
In the 15th minute, Romell Quioto was taken down in the box and the ref pointed to the spot and Quioto scored his 12th goal of the season to tie the game at one. 10 minutes with the home side looking to regain the lead they tested Pantemis again but he was up to the task and made a key save.
A minute later it was Djordje Milhailovic with a shot on target from distance but it was blocked by Clark and deflected out of bounds. Montreal took the lead in the 28th minute as Alistair Johnston from just inside the box beat Clark far post to make it 2-1 for the visitors.
Pantemis made a huge save in the 35th minute off a powerful shot from Darwin Quintero and it was blocked as he was able to push the ball over the bar and out and on the ensuing play made a stunning leg save to keep his team lead alive, but moments later Daniel Steres was able to beat him to level the game at 2-2.
In the 42nd minute, Mihailovic had another chance but his shot was denied by Clark who made the diving save to keep the score level at 2-2. A minute later the visitors earned another penalty as Johnston’s shot hit Memo Rodriguez’s hand and the ref pointed to the spot.
Once again Quioto stepped up to the spot to take it and there was a delay as the play was under review and then the ref was called to have a look at VAR to determine if it was a penalty or not and after review, it was deemed a penalty and Quioto missed with a shot that went over the net into the stands.
The first half finished with both teams deadlocked at 2-2 going into the locker room with 45 minutes to go in the match.
Lassi seals the win for Montreal
Head coach Wilfried Nancy made a change to start the second half bringing in Joaquin Torres for Ismael Kone looking for some fresh legs in the midfield. Mihailovic had a great chance less than two minutes into the half testing Clark but the Houston keeper made the save.
Lassi Lappalainan had another chance in the 51st minute with a shot on target from just outside the box but again was denied by Clark. Three minutes later the Dynamo had two big scoring chances with the first one going off the crossbar and the second one was denied by Pantemis who came out of his net and punched the ball out of danger.
Nancy made another change in the 58th minute as Zachary Brault Guillard replaced Rudy Camacho who came out of the game due to injury. Montreal took the lead again in the 69th minute as Lappalainan beat three Houston players and beat Clark with a brilliant shot to make it 3-2 for the visitors.
In the 77th minute, Nancy made a triple change as Quioto went down cramping, and in came Kei Kamara, Robert Thorkellson, and Victor Wanyama for Mathieu Choiniere, Quioto, and Lappalainan. After seven minutes of added time, the final whistle blew and CF Montreal won their seventh road game of the season.
69′ Lassi qui déjoue tout le monde!
— CF Montréal (@cfmontreal) August 14, 2022
Nancy pleased with the win
Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy was asked about what has impressed him during this six-game unbeaten run for the club and he believes it’s all about mental strength.
” We know the way we want to play and the guys do a good job in these situations and the way we play but also they like to fight and they play with a lot of courage offensively but especially defensively and I like the spirit that we have and yes we conceded two goals but the guys gave everything they had”.
Johnston happy to contribute and get the road win
Montreal defender Alistair Johnston who finished the game with a goal wasn’t surprised by the high-scoring affair between both clubs.
” Look we know their team, they have a lot of talent up front, and seeing them on video I saw what we saw tonight against them and we understood this could be a difficult one in that environment and that temperature and that crowd so we knew we had to get through some things and James (Pantemis) made some unbelievable saves and we felt confident no matter what happens we just stuck to it and come out on top.
CF Montreal will be back in action on Saturday as they will host the New England Revolution at Saputo Stadium on Saturday night.