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Montreal’s Decisiveness Makes Difference in Charleston

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 08/14/16, 9:16AM EDT


FCMTL attack shines in second consecutive victory as Battery falter in final third

Photo courtesy Charleston Battery

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Coming off a breakout performance on Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, FC Montreal was aiming for more of the same when it visited the Charleston Battery on Saturday night.

Thanks to a goal and assist apiece by Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla and Anthony Jackson-Hamel, the visitors took a 3-1 victory at MUSC Health Stadium, bringing the Battery’s eight-game undefeated streak to an end.

“We wanted to have a similar performance as the one we had three days ago, but away from home,” said Montreal Coach Philippe Eullaffroy. “The boys answered well with a high-quality first half. They had the right attitude in the last 30 metres. They were also solid in the second half and didn't give many chances. Again, it proves that despite the results, the players never quit.”

The game turned in Montreal’s favor soon after the half-hour mark, as the two team’s differing fortunes in front of goal on the night were put in sharp perspective. After Charleston had a big chance to take the lead when Romario Williams – on loan from the Montreal Impact – was denied on a breakaway by a standout save by Montreal goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, the visitors opened the scoring when a clever back-heel by Mastanabal Kacher sprang Tabla into the left side of the penalty area. His low pass across the box found Jackson-Hamel, who tapped home a simple finish to give FCMTL the halftime lead.

“We kind of missed from the beginning a little bit,” said Battery Coach Mike Anhaeuser. “We looked like we were forcing it a little bit. We tried to hard to hit the home run instead of keeping it simple in the first 10-15 minutes and we gave the ball away. We let them get on the ball, which gave their young guys a bit of confidence, and they were able to pass it around and keep it in the heat." 

Montreal took advantage of a Battery giveaway on its second goal just past the hour-mark as Tabla drove home a left-footed finish from 20 yards that made it 2-0. While the Battery appeared to have set up a chance for a big finish 12 minutes from the end when Maikel Chang finished from the right side of the penalty area, Montreal quickly snuffed out those hopes when Louis Beland-Goyette curled home a finish seven minutes later to wrap up victory.

Photo courtesy Charleston Battery

“Before the game, we all wanted to do what we needed to win,” said Béland-Goyette. “We got much better in the last third and we see it. We take good decisions.”

With Richmond and Cincinnati playing to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night, the Battery missed out on a chance to return to the top four in the Eastern Conference ahead of a big week of action. With a visit to Richmond set for Wednesday night before a clash with rival Wilmington Hammerheads FC, though, Anhaeuser believed his side would bounce back strongly from a disappointing setback.

“We’ve got to keep going, we can’t worry about it,” Anhaeuser said. “We’ve got two tough road games coming up. If we get a win or a draw against Richmond on Wednesday we’re right there in the mix for the top four. We’ve got to go on the road and do what we’ve been doing away from home, we can't worry about this result. We're  going to have  to improve defensively and sharpen up in front of goal, but I feel confident in our guys to do that."

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