MONTREAL – The Montreal Impacted suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of Orlando City SC, Saturday night at Stade Saputo, marking just its second loss at home this season.
“I saw everything that I dislike on a football pitch tonight,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “Individualism, egoism, and a lack of respect for the game, for each other, and for our supporters. I didn’t see us play like a team tonight.”
A difficult first half
The visitors managed to break through in midfield in the 22nd minute, when forward Tesho Akindele found himself running in alone from the right flank, but his cross to Chris Mueller was neatly intercepted by goalkeeper Evan Bush.
A few minutes later, Akindele worked a one-two with Designated Player Nani before unleashing a shot from outside the box, but Bush dove to make the save. On the ensuing corner, referee Chris Penso judged that a Montreal player touched the ball with his hand, pointing to the spot. Nani stepped up to take the penalty, slotting it under Bush to open the scoring.
Orlando managed to double its lead in the 36th minute. After Cristian Higuita recovered the ball in midfield, he passed to Mueller, open on the right flank, who crossed it low across the box to Akindele. The Canadian forward easily beat Bush with a tap in, doubling the visitors’ lead.
The Lions added another before the end of the half, in the 42nd minute. After making himself some space to the left of Montreal’s 18-yard box, defender Joao Moutinho’s cross into the middle was promptly punched by Bush, but Will Johnson was first on the rebound to slot in his first goal of the season.
“We didn’t start this game like we had to,” said centre back Zakaria Diallo. “We have no excuse. What’s important now is that we don’t restart this type of performance. It was one of our worst first halves since the beginning of the season. We’ll need to take the positives out of this one and get back to training in order to finish this sequence on a positive note.”
Too late after the break
Montreal came close to getting one back in the 65th minute, when full-back Daniel Lovitz swung in a ball for striker Anthony Jackson-Hamel, but his attempted deflection missed just wide of the right post.
The Impact created its best chance in the 85th minute, when Jackson-Hamel crossed for an open Saphir Taïder in the box, but the Algerian international’s shot from close was nicely blocked by goalkeeper Brian Rowe.
“We conceded two bad goals in quick succession, and I think that affected us too much mentally,” said defender Daniel Lovitz. “We were at home and I don’t think any deficit should’ve intimidated us. We could’ve been a little more positive to try and move forward and score goals. We’ll look at this in more detail and move forward.”
The Impact has one more game schedule before a three-week international break: Montreal will host the Seattle Sounders FC at Stade Saputo on Wednesday, June 5, at 7:30pm (TICKETS - TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690). The following game will also take place at Stade Saputo, on Wednesday, June 26, as the Portland Timbers will be in town (TICKETS - TVA Sports, 98.5, TSN 690).
MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Bacary Sagna (Zachary Brault-Guillard 36’), Víctor Cabrera, Zakaria Diallo, Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Saphir Taïder, Micheal Azira; F-Maximiliano Urruti, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Omar Browne (Shamit Shome 78’)
Subs not used – Clément Diop, Daniel Kinumbe, Rudy Camacho, Jukka Raitala, Ken Krolicki
ORL – GK-Bryan Rowe, João Moutinho, Lamine Sané, Robin Jansson, Ruan; M- Cristian Higuita (Kyle Smith 83’), Sebastián Méndez, Will Johnson; F-Chris Mueller (Oriol Rosell 86’), Nani (Sacha Kljestan 76’), Tesho Akindele
Subs not used – Adam Grinwis, Kamal Miller, Josué Colmán, Benji Michel
ORL – Nani (PEN) 27’
ORL – Akindele (Mueller, Higuita) 36’
ORL – Johnson 42’
MTL – Urruti 45’
ORL – Moutinho 49’