What we learned from ACC finale
Our ‘Caps were less than six minutes away from winning their first Voyageurs Cup when Montreal equalized to clinch the tie on away goals.
So what did we learn?
Keys to the Game
If you read my keys to the game, I talked about taking the game to Montreal from the opening whistle and playing a high tempo (Check). I talked about not letting Marco Di Vaio beat us (Check). And I talked about the players with big game experience influencing the game (Check).
Camilo gets the 'Caps off to a great start
For me this was one of our best performances at home against a strong Montreal team, but somehow we found a way to not win.
We came out of the gates fast, scoring a superb goal after four minutes and really could have been three or four goals up at halftime. We had Montreal on the back foot for most of the game and created enough quality chances to win the game comfortably.
I thought we defended Di Vaio really well, limiting him to mostly long range shots. This was a player coming off a hat-trick in the Impact's last game and he hardly got a sniff on goal. When he did have a chance in the box Andy O’Brien had a brilliant block to deny him a certain goal.
There were some great performances last night and we did a lot of things right. We looked very dangerous on the attack all night, we pressured Montreal into mistakes, and for the most part we had the game under control.
When they scored just after halftime we did not panic and I thought the veteran players played a big part in that. We were able to slow the game down when necessary and take the sting out of the game.
So yes this hurts more than anything, and of course disappointment and emotion will lead to some radical thoughts, but when you reflect on the match as a whole, for the most part we did what we needed to do.
Unfortunately, the very few lapses we did have killed us in the end.
Our Achilles heel
It is heartbreaking to waste a performance like this in a cup final, but we have not learnt from our Achilles heels all year.
This is the reason we did not win the game.
Rennie talks with Sportsnet post-match
For some reason we have let a number of goals in just after halftime and it happened again against Montreal. We owned the first half and as I said should have been three or four goals up. Then we concede a goal in the first few minutes after the half and let them back in the game.
Yes it was a lucky deflection that landed at the feet of Felipe, and yes it was a wonderful strike to score the goal. But we have to know there was going to be a response and we have to come out stronger in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
Secondly, we have to be better in both boxes. As mentioned before we created enough quality chances to win the game comfortably but did not finish them off. And we have to stop letting in goals from set plays. These two things cost us the game and have been a problem throughout this season. If we were better in both boxes, we would be Canadian Champions today.
Give me a break
I have to say this because it’s true. I’ve already said why I thought we lost the game, but we just can't seem to get a break.
Highlights: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-2 Montreal Impact
It’s well documented how we have lost this championship in some cruel ways. Yes, we did not do enough to win and there are no excuses for that. But last night we hit the woodwork twice, both on chances that would have given us a two-goal cushion which really would have made things difficult for Montreal.
Maybe I am just clutching at straws, but can’t we get a break!
No time to dwell on the past though. We have a big match in New York on Saturday. There is a ton left to play for this season.
It’s time we learn our lessons and move forward.