L‘Montreal Impact made life difficult in its fight for a spot in the MLS playoffs following a 3-1 loss to New York City FC on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.
After playing more than respectably for about 65 minutes, helped by a solid start in the second half, the Impact players conceded three goals in less than 20 minutes.
Jesus Medina, in the 68th minute, Maximiliano Morales, fifteen minutes later, and Tony Rocha in the 87th minute, managed the goals of the NYCFC (9-8-3), which was however deprived of five regular holders.
Romell Quioto scored the Impact’s only goal, his seventh this season, in a lost cause, in the 89th minute.
“It’s my fault,” Henry said many times, in both French and English.
“Coming back (to Montreal after last weekend’s game), the tactical choices. There are a lot of things that make it not always easy. Like I said, this team is trying a lot emotionally, physically as well. Here, the captain of the boat, it’s me. It’s my fault, ”he added at the end of his videoconference.
After the victory against Inter Miami last Saturday, the Impact players returned to Montreal, except for those who had to treat injuries. They had to meet a quarantine before holding a first training session Thursday, in New Jersey, in preparation for Saturday’s game.
“The rest was really good, but also a little longer rest can hurt the team a bit. But we needed it and it was our job to get back in shape and ready to train and get ready for tonight. Obviously, we didn’t. The feeling is not good, ”said defenseman Joel Waterman.
Despite this setback, the Impact (7-11-2) remains ninth in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Inter Miami CF (6-11-3), and ahead of the Chicago Fire (5-8 -6).
There are three games left on the Impact’s calendar, starting with an inconvenient meeting against Nashville SC on Tuesday night at Red Bull Arena.
“The good thing about football is that there is always a game to recover that. We have a game on Tuesday against a team that is difficult to handle, a strong team that is really combative. It’s up to us to try to manage it all. It’s not going to be easy. Sometimes it’s better to play right away so you can move on to something else, ”said Henry.
A less convincing start
A week after offering an energetic and spectacular start against Miami, the Impact was not very active during the first twenty minutes of play, leaving its rivals to control the ball and take their place in the Montreal zone.
Goalkeeper James Pantemis had to make a nice save, using a dive to his left, on a quality shot from Gary Mackay-Steven, in the 18th minute of play.
After the half hour, we felt the Impact a little more dynamic, to the point of eroding possession time, which the NYCFC largely dominated.
The Montreal team got off to a good start in the first quarter of an hour of the second half and Quioto had two golden opportunities to break the tie 0-0.
In the first, 61st minute, his point-blank shot from the left flank was stopped by Johnson before giving up on the vertical rod. In the 64th minute, Quioto shot several meters over the horizontal bar, after a two-on-one push with Samuel Piette.
Some four minutes later, Medina didn’t miss her chance, hopping on a loose ball after an ineffective heel from Rudy Camacho.
“It’s a ball that must be cleared, it’s an individual error and again, it happens to us. Understand, this is not to overwhelm the player, ”Henry analyzed.
“A game we had in hand. We have to score a long time before and we got into trouble once again. Once again, I’ll take the blame. It’s my fault. Maybe we should have stayed, trained. ”
Inserted in place of Camacho in the 73rd minute, Maximiliano Urruti came very close to equalizing the mark but his shot, released with a quick heel gesture, after a pass from Quioto, was blocked by Johnson.
The Impact collapsed in the next 15 minutes, and Morales and Rocha put an end to the Impact’s hopes in this game with two goals in four minutes.