MONTREAL — For a second consecutive game, the Montreal Impact retreated to the locker rooms under boos from their home crowd.
Allan Cruz’s first-minute goal was all that was needed for FC Cincinnati to take a 1-0 win at Stade Saputo. With the victory, the visitors swept the season series between the clubs.
“Losing against Cincinnati is one of the worst things that can happen to the players,” Impact coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “Because everyone thought that we have to win against Cincinnati no matter what.
“It’s been frustrating, but I told the guys and I’ll tell you: If there’s someone to blame, I’ll blame myself.”
FC Cincinnati took a mere 26 seconds to find the opening goal. Samuel Piette deflected Joseph-Claude Gyau’s shot from outside the box straight to Cruz. The Costa Rican tapped in his shot from inside the 6-yard box.
“I think it’s tough when you give up a goal 20 seconds into a game, it doesn’t matter what your ideas were,” Impact keeper Evan Bush said about the team’s mentality. “We’re talking about a team that has the worst defense in the league. So, to give them a 1-0 cushion and then let them play the way they want to play — ”
In the first half, the Impact had nine shots with only one on target. In the second half, Montreal didn’t place a single one of their eight shots onto Przemyslaw Tyton’s net.
“We cannot find composure. We are under too much pressure,” Cabrera said about finding shots on net. “We lost the past game 3-0, we’re losing again against the worst team in the league and in 30 seconds we concede a goal. That right there put extra pressure on the players.”
Focus on Voyageurs Cup
The Impact only have three days to refocus and prepare for the first leg of the Canadian Championship final. Cabrera described his team’s level of frustration as “unbelievably high” and stressed they will need to have “the shortest memory ever.”
“For me, something I want to work, and started working on right now, is for them to see the cup in front of them,” he said. “This city deserves that. Forgetting about the pressure about MLS, just that this is the final. They earned that, no one gave it to them.”
Bush understood where his coach was coming from. However, he thought his teammates need to remember the sting from the 1-0 loss and the second straight booing off the pitch.
“I think it’s important to play with that anger, I guess,” Bush said. “Because right now, it was a lot of guys lacking in confidence. It feels like a lot of guys were playing with extra weight on their shoulders.”
“We need to change ‘chips,” added Samuel Piette. “It’s another season, so we need to turn the page on what happened tonight. That’s the beauty of football, we have another chance on Wednesday to do good things and catch up on the things that we did.”
Piatti spotted with Impact president
Following the loss, Ignacio Piatti was spotted by TVA Sports’ Nicolas A. Martineau in a lengthy conversation with club president Kevin Gilmore.
According to Martineau, the designated player spoke with Gilmore for at least 15 minutes and appeared to empty his heart. Piatti’s contract is up at the end of the 2019 season but has an option for 2020. Gilmore tweeted back in July: “Since I arrived, it has been my expectation that Nacho will be with us in 2020.”
Il vient d'y avoir une très longue discussion entre Nacho et Kevin Gilmore alors que le Stade Saputo était vide.
— Nicolas A Martineau (@nikmartineauTVA) September 15, 2019