Our Vancouver Whitecaps FC went into Montreal and earned a positive result in a hard fought game, coming away with a 0-0 draw.
So what did we learn?
Highlights: Montreal Impact 0 - 0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC
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In Rennie we trust
I’m sure I was not the only one that thought Martin Rennie had lost the plot when his starting lineup was announced.
I was trying to figure out what shape the team was going to have or if he was playing mind games with Montreal.
In the end, the players went out and played a solid game, holding the home side to 0-0 and giving us a great chance to win the tie back at BC Place.
I said after the Dallas game on the road that players can make you look great or they can make you look silly. As a coach, you have a hunch what will work and then you hope the players perform on the day – like they did last night.
Let’s be honest, if the game had gone badly, Martin would have been ridiculed for the lineup he put out. He could have easily put out a team that was expected and if the result had not gone our way, there would have been few complaints as we were playing the top team in the East.
But as a coach you have to put out the lineup you feel is best for your team, and that requires some bravery at times. For Martin it was a lineup he felt could get the result.
In Rennie we trust.
Montreal are for real
You have to give credit where credit is due.
Montreal right now is a top MLS team and even though we come home with a 0-0 score, this championship is far from over.
They might be even more dangerous coming to BC Place and playing their favoured 4-1-4-1 counter attacking style that got them off to four straight wins to start the season.
The Impact came out guns blazing in the second half with players like Marco Di Vaio and Justin Mapp showing us just how dangerous this team can be.
Now, to win our first Voyageurs Cup, we will have to beat a very good Montreal team and we will need a rocking BC Place to lead us.
Last night was a tough game, and it got much tougher in the second half when we had some tired legs.
As expected Montreal came at us hard after the break as they tried to take a lead into the return leg at BC Place. This is when we needed the veterans to step up to keep the players calm, keep the shape, and see out the game – which they did.
Nigel Reo-Coker, Alain Rochat, and Andy O’Brien were immense throughout the match as they put their bodies on the line and led the team ‘til the final whistle. I thought they really stood out in the game, making tackles, keeping possession at key times, and making very important blocks. They did what was expected of them and gave us that veteran presence.