CF Montreal Rescues Last-Gasp Draw Against Houston Dynamo
With two more home games on the schedule, it was crucial for CF Montreal to pick up points on their late push to the postseason and they were able to secure one point drawing the Houston Dynamo 1-1 on Wednesday night.
” I thought we did a lot of things well but we wanted to win,” Hernan Losada told the media post-game. “We dominated the game and we had three or four dangerous chances and we didn’t score.”
CF Montreal started the game on the front foot as Romell Quioto got his second straight start and played the full 90 minutes.
“It’s a difficult team to play against, especially when you are trailing. They’re very organized and they forced us to work, and we did everything we could tonight.”
Quioto got things going and had two chances in the first minute of the game with the first one being a very weak shot but the second one was on target forcing Houston’s keeper Steve Clark to make an early save.
“At the end of the day, it’s a point that keeps things wide open and our run to the playoffs is still alive. We need everybody on Saturday to come out and we need a win.”
Three minutes later Quioto had another dangerous opportunity when he managed to get a header on target but right into the hands of Clark who made the easy save.
“We worked a lot on our finishing this week and we did a lot of things, but we are still lacking. I feel that the players feel like they have less time when really they have more and they react too quickly.”
Houston opened the scoring in the 10th minute when unfortunately Fernando Alvarez, who got his second start in place of the suspended Gabrielle Corbo, slipped and gave the ball to Sebastien Kowalczyk, who found Artur and managed to beat Sirois.
The Honduran native had another powerful shot on target in the 25th minute to try and level the score but was unable to beat the Houston keeper and the game continued to follow a back-and-forth rhythm.
“He was motivated like the whole team, and we really wanted to have a good performance. To be honest 90 minutes today for Romell was a lot, but it was a crucial game.”
It seemed the Houston Dynamo, after scoring the opening goal, were keen on letting CF Montreal have the ball and put up a very strong block that at times seemed almost impossible to penetrate.
“Houston put up a low block and in certain moments you need individual quality and the spark from other players and we took a lot of risks and did everything we could do.”
Ariel Lassiter had a chance in the 56th minute with his first shot of the night but again was stopped by Clark and three minutes later CF Montreal keeper Jonathan Sirois made a huge save off a free kick.
“The confidence comes from all the games we have won with our good performance and our solid home record, but we lack finishing and it’s difficult to score goals – but again the players did everything possible.”
Quioto had another dangerous opportunity in the 77th minute but was denied by Clark and with the game seconds from ending Lassi Lappalainen managed to find himself just outside the box and powered a shot into the back of the net.
“The ball just bounced to me and I took a shot and it got blocked. I had a second chance and I didn’t waste it,” Lappalainen told me when I asked about how the play developed for him.
Lappalainen still believes he and his team can make the playoffs with only two games left.
“Sure, and I know we struggled to get points, but so have the other teams that are chasing us. I know if we get three, four, or even six points we can make the playoffs. It’s in our own hands so I am confident.”
I jokingly asked Joel Waterman if he predicted Lappalainen scoring in the 95th minute to tie the game.
“No”, he answered, “you can’t predict much. I thought we had tons of chances in the first half to score and we got that goal at the end to get that point, but our standards are high: it’s two points dropped and it’s huge going into a big game on Saturday.”
Waterman was also asked about the confidence level in the locker room after coming back to steal a point and avoid the loss against a playoff-clinching Houston side.
“It’s the moment in the season where it matters the most whether we tie or win. We have to get the job done, so Saturday is three points and that’s all we are focused on and give us the best chance to compete and win.”