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.
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.
FC Cincinnati ended its scoring drought at 528 minutes after Mattocks worked deep into the left side of the box before sending a centering 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 center 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 tie at 1 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 Samuel Piette’s bid at the post in the 58th minute.