Montreal nets dramatic goals to beat Philadelphia 3-2 for first MLS win

MONTREAL — Two dramatic goals in stoppage time from Chinonso Offor and Romell Quioto saw Montreal pick up its first points of the Major League Soccer season in a back-and-forth 3-2 win over Philadelphia Union on Saturday night at Olympic Stadium.

Quioto scored a brace and Offor added another in Montreal’s (1-3-0) home opener, while Mikael Uhre scored a brace for Philadelphia (2-2-0).

Montreal pressing early paid off and they won the ball high up the pitch multiple times. Less than two minutes in the aggressive pressure paid dividends as Lassi Lappalainen laid the ball off for Mathieu Choinière whose shot was blocked by a handball. It was on Quioto to convert the penalty and did so by smashing the ball into the top left corner.

Following the goal, Philadelphia looked for an equalizer and began pushing further up field. While Montreal spent large spans of the first half on the defensive, the enjoyed two more golden opportunities through Mason Toye and Quioto.

Toward the end of the first half, the Union began asking questions of Montreal keeper Jonathan Sirois with shots from every angle. The youngster turned them all away, much to the delight of the crowd and preserving the lead going into halftime.

However, Philadelphia would strike back as quickly as Montreal opened the scoring. Daniel Gazdag intercepted a pass at the top of the Montreal penalty area and found Uhre, who made no mistake and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.

As Montreal began to reassert itself, it was the squad's turn to suffer at the hands of the counterattack. Gazdag once again picked out Urhe, playing him through on goal and giving Philadelphia the lead at the hour mark.

Montreal was then let back into the game when Julian Carranza was given his second yellow card for a late challenge on Joel Waterman.

This was the spark Montreal needed as Offor scored an equalizer that was initially allowed, but then called offside by VAR, only for the goal to be permitted following a second VAR consultation.

With the Montreal crowd in raptures, the home side pushed for a winner, which they got when Quioto got on the end of a Mathieu Choinière cross, delivering the dramatic win.

Philadelphia will return home to host Orlando City SC on March 25 while Montreal will use the week off to recover before travelling to BC Place and a match against the Vancouver Whitecaps on April 1.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2023.

Elias Grigoriadis, The Canadian Press