“We knew it would be a different game tonight because it was in the round of 16. We had to beat DC to keep going and come back to the playoffs, and that’s what we did. We all know the circumstances. the same for everyone. There would be fatigue and mistakes sometimes. It didn’t work for us today. We were a little better against DC defensively, but today that didn’t happen, ”said Impact coach Thierry Henry.
Orlando will face the winner of Monday night’s clash between reigning league champion Seattle Sounders and LAFC in the quarterfinals on Friday.
“The chemistry with the squad was very good, especially in the first half,” said Orlando coach Oscar Pareja. “In the second half, I think we had much, much more difficult opposition. Montreal came out sharper.
Orlando City dominated possession in the first half but couldn’t score. Jhegson Mendez appeared to break through with a goal late in the period, but was ruled offside on the climb.
Mendez also had a good chance in the 38th minute, but his shot from the center of the box was stopped by Montreal goalkeeper Clément Diop.
Calgary-born Akindele finally put Orlando on the scoreboard. Apparent poor communication between Diop and defender Rod Fanni allowed Akindele to rush forward and easily score the goal.
“We got the lead and we held the lead a couple of times in a row,” Akindele said. “It shows a strong mentality, it shows good organization of the team and it shows dedication to the cause from front to back.
While the group stage games count for the regular season, the Impact is 2-2-1 this season under new coach Thierry Henry.
Montreal finished third in its group, but secured a spot among 16 teams in the round of 16 with a 1-0 win over DC United on Tuesday. Saphir Tadir, who has three goals in the tournament, scored the only goal.
“Obviously we wanted to go all the way,” said Montreal midfielder Samuel Piette. “We knew it was a tough tournament, and the way we played against Toronto and DC, we really believed we could beat anyone. I think we started the first half really flat, and I felt that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Orlando, 2-1-2, was without forward Dom Dwyer, who was out for the second game in a row with muscle tension. Junior midfielder Urso was also absent.
Orlando, playing this season under Pareja, finished at the top of his group with two wins and six goals in total.
Impact forward Maxi Urruti was on the bench to start the game, but was substituted for the last five minutes of regulation.