Montreal Impact Vs Olimpia: 3 things we learned – And breathe

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MONTREAL, QC – MARCH 10: Jerry Bengtson #27 of CD Olimpia celebrates a goal with teammates in the first half during the 1st leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal game against the Montreal Impact at Olympic Stadium on March 10, 2020 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

On Tuesday night, the Montreal Impact hosted Olimpia in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final. Here are three things we learned from the 2-1 defeat.

The Montreal Impact were looking to succeed where the Seattle Sounders failed. Sadly, they fell into the same trap as the Rave Green, falling in a 2-1 loss to Olimpia in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final.

Two poor goals in the first half were enough to put Montreal in a hole that they couldn’t climb out of. Saphir Taider scored a stunner from 40 yards out and the Impact should have had a penalty that was initially awarded before then being rescinded, but in the end, Thierry Henry’s side will head home ruing their missed opportunities and knowing that they have work to do in the second leg.

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Here are three things we learned from the Montreal Impact’s breathless 2-1 defeat to Olimpia.

TEXAS CITY, TX – MARCH 07: Head coach Thierry Henry of Montreal Impact looks on during an MLS match between FC Dallas and Montreal Impact at Toyota Stadium on March 7, 2020 in Texas City, Texas. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)

3. Thierry Henry unlocks Montreal attack

It was a dreadful first half for the Montreal Impact. They conceded early, then got caught on the counter-attack again, conceding a second away goal in the process, and then proceeded to completely control possession without ever looking even vaguely like scoring. Thierry Henry needed to make a change.

And so he did. Zachary Brault-Guillard was substituted off, Orji Okwonkwo came on in his place, and the Impact shifted to a 4-3-3 formation, with Samuel Piette pushing higher up the pitch in central midfield, Victor Wanyama then anchoring the midfield. This tactical shift made all the difference.

Piette and Saphir Taider started to get into the game by receiving passes between the line, Okwonkwo was a threat down the right flank, while the Impact could now look to pierce the deep Olimpia set-up with plenty of options at different distances to play into. Before, they were static, slow, ponderous. In the second half, their attack was unlocked, and it all came thanks to the tactical change of Henry.

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