(Lake Buena Vista) The Montreal Impact's adventure in the MLS revival tournament ended in the round of 16 following a 1-0 loss to Orlando City SC on Saturday night at ESPN Walt Complex Disney world.
Tesho Akindele scored the only goal of the game in the 60th minute, profiting from a defensive error by the Impact deep in his own territory.
After two more encouraging performances against Toronto FC and D. C. United, the Impact looked more like the team that started the tournament on July 9 against the New England Revolution, having a miserable first half.
“In the first half, Orlando came out very, very strong. We didn’t win our duels, we were always a little behind the Orlando players, whether it was to put pressure, whether it was to win a race, "said Samuel Piette.
"It's sure that it plays on the team when you are not able to win your duels, to control the game a little, something that we had done well so far, especially during the last two games against Toronto and DC That's what we wanted to do today, we weren't able to. We weren't able to make five in a row. Of course, mentally, it's very difficult when you can't do that, "added the Montreal midfielder.
After Akindele’s goal and a few changes from head coach Thierry Henry, the Impact showed a little more energy in the final 15 minutes of regulation time.
Romell Quioto notably got a quality chance in the 80th minute, but his header deflected narrowly missed goalkeeper Pedro Gallese's net. Six minutes of stoppage time did not help the Impact extend its stay in Florida.
Despite losing and eliminating his players, Henry had good things to say about them.
"We were able to save what there was to save, that is to say get back into the playoffs." And then, of course, there are things to erase. But the bottom line for me, I'm proud of my players. Come here, do what we did, be behind a lot of teams in training. Everyone was a bit the same, but I have to be there protecting my players. They gave the maximum, it was not enough today. We will continue to work and move forward. "
Thanks to his victory, Orlando will face, on July 31, the winner of the duel between the Seattle Sounders and Los Angeles FC. This match will take place on Monday, at the end of the evening.
Half one way
Thursday, Thierry Henry had warned that to avoid suffering from the heat, it would be important to control the ball well. In the first half, the message was captured perfectly ... by the Orlando players.
The “locals” imposed themselves from the first moments of the match, taking control of the ball and the territory, particularly exploiting the Montreal side defense.
With more opportunism and precision, Orlando could easily have given himself a two or three goal lead after 45 minutes of play.
"That was the only positive thing about the first half, that it was 0-0," summed up the Impact head coach in his post-game press conference.
Jhegson Mendez alone had three quality chances and even believed he had broken the tie 0-0 in the 45th minute. The Impact fared very well as one of the officials ruled Akindele offside.
Some seven minutes earlier, Mendez had scored his team's only shot on target in the first half. Clément Diop found a way to stop him even if he was stretched out full length on the pitch.
For its part, the Impact only had one real chance to score. It belonged to Piette, who headed a Quioto cross into Gallese's hands during the 26th minute of play.
Without being as dominant as he was in the first half of the game, Orlando finally managed to open the scoring when Akindele took advantage of a bad reaction from defender Rod Fanni to eventually push the ball into a wide open net.
“I don't want to comment on the goal because I have to see the recovery. I think it’s an individual mistake by our team, and it’s very sad, ”said defender Jukka Raitala.