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Montreal gives up a late goal, settles for a 2-2 draw against Orlando City

MONTREAL – Ariel Lassiter scored in the 88th minute to give CF Montreal a 2-1 lead over visiting Orlando City, but the victory celebration was spoiled when Ivan Angulo scored two minutes into stoppage time to seal a 2-2 Major League Soccer draw Save stadium

MONTREAL – Ariel Lassiter scored in the 88th minute to give CF Montreal a 2-1 lead over visiting Orlando City, but the victory celebration was spoiled when Ivan Angulo scored two minutes into stoppage time to seal a 2-2 Major League Soccer draw Stade to save Saputo on Saturday evening.

Mason Toye also scored for Montreal (3-3-2), while Facundo Torres found the back of the net for Orlando (2-3-3) in what has become a hotly contested rivalry in recent years.

“We worked on things in practice and were able to execute them with confidence (last week against Cincinnati), but we couldn’t do that tonight. We just have to speed things up a little bit more,” Montreal head coach Laurent Courtois said.

“As long as the boys go on the pitch with the best intentions, create chances, take risks and try to dominate as much as possible, I won’t have much to criticize.”

After a hesitant start from both sides, Montreal began to grow into the game and gain possession. After establishing control, they got a breakthrough after 15 minutes.

Samuel Piette saw Toye’s deficit and played a ball through the heart of Orlando’s defense. Toye had timed his run perfectly, leaving him alone with the keeper who he rounded before opening the scoring.

“I haven’t trained much (this run), they know my profile and that I like to be at the back when guys have time and space on the ball. We just looked at each other, I turned and he was able to get the ball off in time,” said Toye, who scored his first goal of the MLS season.

“It was great, I worked really hard to get myself back into the team. It was a difficult start to the season for myself, but… that’s just how things go. I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity.”

However, it would only take Orlando five minutes to respond. After being played through on goal, Luis Muriel was brought down in the penalty area by Jonathan Sirois, giving the visitors a penalty. Torres stepped up and made no mistake, sending the ball into the top left corner.

Orlando would use the equalizer to generate momentum as the match headed towards halftime, controlling more possession and creating several chances.

Montreal appeared to regain its composure after the break and started the second half on the front foot, forcing a crucial low hand save from Pedro Gallese after just five minutes.

“It was almost four against two at some points in the first half, so we were a bit outnumbered and that gave them more possession and more options, but not much was created from Orlando,” Piette said. “We adapted in the second half and became much more aggressive, both with and without the ball, which allowed us to impose a lot more on our play.”

Despite the pressure, Montreal struggled to find a way through until just two minutes from time. On the counter-attack, substitute Sunusi Ibrahim fired a powerful shot that forced a save from Gallese, which rebounded straight into Lassiter’s path, giving him a wide open net and his second goal in as many games.

With eight minutes of extra time, Orlando went to work to find the equalizer and immediately shot to pay dirt. A low cross from Martin Ojeda found Angulo at the back post, bringing the game back to level.

“We thought we had come through the worst, so this feels like a lesson in humility,” Courtois said. “It is also a lesson for me. If we find ourselves in a situation like this, what can I do differently so that this doesn’t happen again because this is very frustrating and hurts for the boys.”

NEXT ONE

Both teams return to action next Saturday (April 27) when Montreal travels to Columbus to take on former head coach Wilfried Nancy and the Crew, while Orlando returns home to host Toronto FC.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2024.

Elias Grigoriadis, The Canadian Press

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