FC Cincinnati Score in Dying Minutes to Earn Point in Montréal

September 20, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - FC Cincinnati News Release

FC Cincinnati went into Stade Saputo and earned a much-needed road point against CF Montréal Wednesday night, scoring in the final moments to equalize and maintain their lead atop the league standings with a 1-1 draw.

After a scoreless first half, CF Montréal got on the board first with a 53rd minute goal. When scoring first, Montréal had won 17 straight matches at home.

With the draw, FC Cincinnati (17-4-8, 59 pts.) extended their lead in the Supporters' Shield race to nine points with five matches to play.

The Orange and Blue return to TQL Stadium Saturday night to host Charlotte FC with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Acosta earns the equalizer at the death

FC Cincinnati captain Acosta returned to the starting lineup for The Orange and Blue and was the difference maker in Wednesday night's fixture, taking the equalizing PK in the 90+7 minute.

After Dominique Badji was tackled just inside the box by keeper Jonathan Sirois trying to play the ball on a service by Álvaro Barreal, the referee pointed to the spot to award FC Cincinnati the penalty kick. Acosta hit it true and scored his 14th goal of the season, tying him for the lead in the MLS Golden Boot race.

Montréal pressure

CF Montréal spent the first 20 minutes of play looking to impose a suffocating press on FC Cincinnati midfielders and defenders. Forcing The Orange and Blue into tight spaces on the field and limiting their ability to carry the ball, CF Montréal was able to create turnovers and loose balls to limit FCC's chances.

FC Cincinnati was able to break the press for the first period of sustained pressure in the opposing end in the 22nd minute, resulting in a corner kick and ultimately an Acosta shot that was saved. From then on, FCC was more able to successfully break MTL's defensive pressure.

FCC win momentum but end half even

After breaking the initial pressure from the hosts, FCC dominated possession, earning a 70 percent or greater possession in all but one interval to end the half. By the time the whistle blew for half time, they had won back 54 percent of possession in the half as a whole.

The Orange and Blue twice had golden opportunities to open the scoring off corner kicks, but missed by inches on both occasions. The first came from the right side when Acosta swung a cross that found the head of Santiago Arias, who headed the cross past the keeper but also inches wide.

The second came from the opposite corner flag, where Barreal served a high curling cross that Nick Hagglund tracked down, but it too bounced wide.

Montréal gets a rare one

CF Montréal earned a rare second half goal when they opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. It was only the 10th time in MLS play that FCC had conceded a second half goal, which still stands as a league best.

The opener was earned after Kwadwo Opoku found himself in open space outside the box looking dead on to the FCC goal. A curling shot ducked around Roman Celentano and gave the hosts the lead.

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