FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Gustavo Vallecilla scored on a brilliant diving header in the 86th minute as FC Cincinnati earned its first win of the season with a 2-1 victory over CF Montreal on Saturday at DRV PNK Stadium.
Djordje Mihailovic had the lone Montreal goal in the 56th minute. Jurgen Locadia pulled Cincinnati even in the 70th minute at Montreal's temporary Florida home.
Cincinnati, which started the day in last place in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference standings, improved to 1-3-1.
Montreal (2-3-2) has lost all three times it has faced Cincinnati, with both previous defeats coming in the visitors' debut MLS season in 2019.
Both teams struggled to create scoring opportunities in the early going on a hot, sunny afternoon.
Using a 3-4-1-2 formation, Montreal tried to slowly build the play by focusing on possession rather than aggressiveness. Cincinnati, meanwhile, went with a 5-3-2 setup.
Montreal's Erik Hurtado had a decent chance in the 25th minute but Cincinnati goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer made a diving save on a deflected strike from just inside the box.
Montreal had a decent spell of pressure late in the first half as play began to open up. Romell Quioto flashed some deft footwork to get a good chance but Vermeer cut down the angle and turned it away.
A glorious opportunity was wasted in the 45th minute as Quioto stunningly missed an open tap-in.
With Montreal on an open two-man break, Zachary Brault-Guillard fed the ball across past a helpless Vermeer but Quioto one-timed the ball wide instead of into the empty net.
Some of his teammates put their hands on heads in disbelief. Head coach Wilfried Nancy shook his head several times and rubbed his eyebrow as he paced the sideline.
Quioto atoned for the error early in the second half as he drew Vermeer and two defenders before delivering a slick pass to Mihailovic for the opening goal.
Cincinnati tied the game when Montreal couldn't clear the ball after a corner kick. Geoff Cameron headed the ball to Locadia who flicked it past goalkeeper Clement Diop.
On the winner, Ronald Matarrita provided a perfect cross that Vallecilla timed perfectly for his first career MLS goal.
Mihailovic, Brault-Guillard, Quioto and Victor Wanyama were all booked for yellow cards for Montreal, which was coming off a 1-0 loss to Atlanta United last week.
Montreal will visit the Chicago Fire next Saturday before the international break.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2021.
The Canadian Press