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Montreal Stuns Steel Late to Take Victory

By NICHOLAS MURRAY - nicholas.murray@uslsoccer.com, 08/21/16, 5:07PM EDT

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Two goals in final 10 minutes lead FCMTL to dramatic 3-2 win


Photo courtesy FC Montreal

MONTREAL – Aron Mkungwila scored in the 90th minute as FC Montreal took a dramatic 3-2 victory against Bethlehem Steel FC on Sunday afternoon at the Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard. Mkungwila got in behind the Steel defense on the left, and finished into the right corner to give his side its third consecutive victory. Montreal had the first big scoring chance in the 10th minute when Anthony Jackson-Hamel got in behind the Steel defense, but goalkeeper Samir Badr made a big save to deny him. Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla also had two good low shots stopped in quick succession, but Jackson-Hamel made it 1-0 on a breakaway in the 32nd minute after a long pass by Mkungilwa. The Steel hit back five minutes before halftime, however, when James Chambers’ long-range free kick found the right corner of the net. Bethlehem almost grabbed the lead inside the opening minute of the second half as Cory Burke’s shot was saved by Montreal’s Maxime Crepeau, but the visitors went in from in the 50th minute as Burke made no mistake from close range after Josh Heard’s initial shot was saved. Montreal leveled the score with 10 minutes to go as Thomas Meilleur-Giguere scored unmarked in the right side of the penalty area, and Crepeau had to come up big three minutes to save from Seku Conneh, but Mkungwila’s late strike sent the hosts to victory.

Scoring: 
32’ – MTL – Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Aron Mkungilwa)
40’ – BST – James Chambers
50’ – BST – Cory Burke (Josh Heard)
80’ – MTL – Thomas Meilleur-Giguere
90’ – MTL – Aron Mkungwila

Three Things That Matter:

  • 1. When Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla pulled his jersey over his face after having a first shot blocked and the second saved by the scrambling Badr, it appeared to sum up the frustration Montreal was experiencing early in the contest. A late comeback to take a third consecutive victory, moving level on points with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at the foot of the Eastern Conference thanks to goals by Thomas Meilleur-Giguere and Aron Mkungwila – adding to his earlier assist – is another bright side for FCMTL as it looks for a big end to the season.
  • 2. The Steel had the game in their control, but let it slip away with some disappointing defending that saw both of Montreal’s second-half goals come via defensive breakdowns. After the hesitation that led to Anthony Jackson-Hamel’s opener, the road to the playoffs is now even more steep with six games to make up their deficit on Orlando City B.
  • 3. With Montreal’s victory, Louisville City FC fans were able to enjoy a minor celebration as the club clinched its place in the 2016 USL Playoffs. Bethlehem visits Louisville next weekend in what will now be a crucial game for both teams – City for seeding in the Eastern Conference, and the Steel for getting a ticket to the postseason at all – which should make for compelling viewing at Slugger Field next Saturday night.
  • USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
  • Aron Mkungwila, FC Montreal – After providing the assist on the opening goal of the game, Mkungwila scored the dramatic game-winner to lift Montreal to its third consecutive victory, its first streak of that kind since last season.

Upcoming Games:

FC Montreal at Toronto FC II – August 28, 4 p.m. ET, Ontario Soccer Centre

Bethlehem Steel FC at Louisville City FC – August 27, 7:30 p.m. ET, Slugger Field

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