D.C. United took all three points in a must-watch, must-win match against CF Montréal at Stade Saputo. Newcomer Lewis O’Brien notched the game-winner in his second MLS appearance.
Facing off against former head coach Hernán Losada, D.C. United had to maintain focus and, as Donovan Pines told the media pre-match, “try to play the game within ourselves.”
A tepid first half saw D.C. and Montréal battle for the upper hand, using more toughness than tactical prowess. Referee Joe Dickerson issued four yellow cards before the halftime whistle blew owing to the gritty play. D.C. United’s Mohanad Jeahze went off in the 13′ injured, making way for Pedro Santos to join the fray.
Both Montréal and D.C. initially struggled to find shots on target. A skied shot from Bryce Duke in the 6′ was the closest Montréal came to finding the back of the net, giving Tyler Miller an easy day. D.C. United, however, seemed to find their stride and settle into the game, creating hope late in the first half. Santos was able to levy a cross into the box, although the ball was snatched up by Jonathan Sirois.
It seemed that the Black-and-Red would find their opportunity in stoppage time as Ruan found Klich with a cross. Klich managed to launch the shot over the crossbar rather than into the back of Montréal’s net, leaving the half scoreless at the whistle.
Just moments after the second half began, Christian Benteke won the ball in the midst of Montréal’s defense and lobbed it to a waiting Taxi Fountas. Fountas found an open Mateusz Kilch, who took a shot that ricocheted off the near post and right to Lewis O’Brien. Recognizing the opportunity, O’Brien capitalized on the rebound to find his way past Sirois to put D.C. on the scoreboard and open his MLS account.
Rooney visited the thought behind O’Brien’s goal and described how D.C. United has been working to maximize opportunities. “I feel with Benteke, with the kickoff, if we can go long and get it into the opposition’s penalty area and then get bodies around it for certain balls, you can get a shot at goal. Yeah, it’s always nice when something you work on pays off,” he said.
Losada tried to open up the field for Montréal but struggled against D.C. United, saying, “We created a few opportunities at the end. So there’s nothing much else to do but put balls in the box. You try to create opportunities from set pieces. One of the strongest points from this team, from the opponent, are the aerial duels and how powerful they are in the air…We tried absolutely everything today.”
While not the Black-and-Red’s most elegant match, they got the job done and walked away from Stade Saputo with a win – their first since the February 25 home opener.
D.C. United remains on the road and will head south to take on Orlando City SC, on April 22 at 7:30 pm ET.
- Welcome to the Black-and-Red, Lewis O’Brien. The newcomer from Nottingham Forest stepped up to snag all three points for the Black-and-Red on the road.
- Getting the job done isn’t always pretty. D.C.’s play against Montréal was anything but beautiful, but in the end, the Black-and-Red got the job done to secure the win on the road.
- Possession doesn’t matter… unless you do something with it. Montréal had 59.6% of possession during the match but wasn’t able to find the right chances to capitalize on.
Watch the highlights from CF Montréal vs. D.C. United
MLS Regular Season – Game 8
CF Montréal: 0
D.C. United: 1 O’Brien 46′
CF Montréal: Jonathan Sirois, Rudy Camacho, Zachary Brault-Guillard (Sunusi Ibrahim 69′), Joel Waterman, Aaron Herrera, Victor Wanyama, Ilias Iliadis (Ariel Lassiter 46′), Ahmed Hamdi (Rida Zouhir 69′), Bryce Duke, Mathieu Choiniere (Sean Rea 88′), Chinonso Offor
D.C. United: Tyler Miller, Ruan (Andy Najar 87′), Mohanad Jeahze (Pedro Santos 13′), Steven Birnbaum, Donovan Pines, Russell Canouse (Chris Durkin 79′), Lewis O’Brien, Mateusz Klich (Ted Ku-DiPietro 79′), Victor Pálsson, Taxiarchis Fountas, Christian Benteke
CF Montréal: Hamdi 25′, Iliadis 40′, Waterman 45′ +4′,
D.C. United: Pálsson 5′, O’Brien 60′