Photo courtesy Pablo A. Ortiz / FC Montreal
MONTREAL – The Harrisburg City Islanders took a 3-1 victory against FC Montreal on Saturday afternoon at the Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard in the final game of the 2016 USL regular season for both clubs. Both sides had chances in the first half. Montreal’s Anthony Jackson-Hamel sent a finish wide of the left post in the 28th minute, while Harrisburg’s Jose Barril flashed a shot from the top of the penalty area wide of the right post in the 32nd minute, but the City Islanders grabbed the lead in the final minute before the break as Barril broke down the right and centered for Cam Vickers to finish into the top-left corner. Harrisburg goalkeeper Nick Noble denied Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla’s shot from the right side of the penalty area with 19 minutes to go, and moments later the City Islanders doubled their lead as Craig Foster broke in behind the Montreal defensive line to notch his eighth goal of the season. Montreal pulled a goal back with seven minutes remaining as Thomas Meilleur-Giguere headed home Tabla’s cross from the right, but an own goal with two minutes to go restored Harrisburg’s two-goal lead wrapped up victory in their final game of the season.
45’ – HAR – Cam Vickers (Jose Barril)
75’ – HAR – Craig Foster (Matthew Bolduc)
83’ – MTL – Thomas Meilluer-Giguere (Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla)
88’ – HAR – Own Goal
Three Things That Matter:
1. There was little at stake for both Montreal and Harrisburg in the result of Saturday’s game, but the two sides combined for an entertaining contest to close their respective regular seasons. The game offered space for both teams to try and get forward and create in the attacking third, especially in the second half as the game became stretched as Harrisburg looked to add to its lead, and Montreal tried to get back into the game.
2. Jose Barril notched his team-high seventh goal of the season, and was again a major influence for the City Islanders throughout the game to close his third season with the club. Barril’s creativity and eye for goal have been a major bright point for the City Islanders since he arrived with the club in 2014 – a year in which he helped the side reach the USL Championship Game. It will be interesting to see if he and City Islanders’ leading scorer Craig Foster can build their relationship in 2017, which could raise the level of the team as a whole in the process.
3. For Montreal, the continued growth of Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla was evident in Saturday’s game, as he came close to finding the back of the net before setting up Thomas Meilleur-Giguerre’s late goal with a fine cross from the right. With his first professional season completed, this offseason will be a big one for Tabla as he looks to make a big step forward in the upcoming months.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Cam Vickers, Harrisburg City Islanders – Vickers opened the scoring for the City Islanders’ with a well-taken finish off Jose Barril’s assist, sending the side on its way to victory to close out the season.
FC Montreal – End of Season
Harrisburg City Islanders – End of Season