FC Cincinnati defeats Impact in interim coach's debut
MLS club snaps 5-game goal drought while Montreal has dropped 2 of past 3 games
Allan Cruz and Fatai Alashe each scored goals as FC Cincinnati presented interim coach Yoann Damet with a win his coaching debut on Saturday, courtesy of a 2-1 victory over the visiting Montreal Impact.
Darren Mattocks set up Cruz's tally in the seventh minute to end a five-game goal drought for Cincinnati (3-7-2, 11 points), which was playing in its first match since dismissing Alan Koch earlier this week.
Spencer Richey denied a point-blank chance from Anthony Jackson-Hamel in the 89th minute and finished with two saves for Cincinnati, which saw the 29-year-old Damet become the youngest head coach to walk the sideline in a Major League Soccer match.
Damet served as the Montreal Impact Under-18 head coach prior to joining Cincinnati.
WATCH | FC Cincinnati snaps drought with win over Impact:
Orji Okwonkwo substituted into the match in the 63rd minute and scored in the 75th for Montreal (6-5-2, 20 points), which has lost two of its last three matches.
Impact coach Remi Garde thought his team deserved better.
"I don't know how we lost this game. We should've left with at least a point," said Garde. "I'm very proud of what they were able to do on the pitch and of the pressure we put them under, especially at the end. I'm confident we'll bounce back."
Midfielder Samuel Piette felt the same way.
"I don't think we had a bad game," said Piette, who made his 50th consecutive start with the Impact. "We fought until the end. There was a lot of fatigue on our end and motivation on theirs with a new coach. It wasn't our day either. I don't think we need to see this loss as one that will hurt us in the long run."
First win since March 24
FC Cincinnati ended its scoring drought at 528 minutes after Mattocks worked ddeep into the left side of the box before sending a centring feed to Cruz, who flicked a left-footed shot that sailed past Evan Bush (zero saves) and under the crossbar.
Cruz's goal was his team-leading second of the season. Prior to the tally, Cincinnati scored an MLS-low eight goals from eight different players.
It also marked Cincinnati's first goal since Mattocks converted a penalty kick in a 1-1 draw against Kansas City on April 7. The win was the team's first since March 24.
Cincinnati doubled its advantage after Roland Lamah weaved inside before Alashe scored from the centre of the box for his first goal of the season.
The Impact trimmed the deficit in the 75th minute, as Okwonkwo's diving header bounced past Richey.
Montreal nearly forged a 1-1 tie in the 40th minute after Michael Ariza's through ball found Daniel Lovitz for an apparent goal, but officials deemed that the latter player was offside.
Richey preserved Cincinnati's 1-0 advantage by thwarting Piette's bid at the post in the 58th minute.
With files from Associated Press