Massive Montreal Meltdown
Santos Laguna made a stunning comeback in Torreon and Montreal had a complete meltdown as the Mexican team beat the Impact by a score of 5-2. Santos moves on to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals with a 5-4 aggregate series total.
Montreal had the lead coming out of the half, 2-1 and were playing comfortably, having some good possession and defending decently. Things seemed to be going well for the Impact as it would take an impossible 4 goals scored by Santos for them to defeat the USL-1 team from Montreal. Impossible started to change to possible in the 54th minute when Santo’s Martias Vuoso drew his team even with a goal.
The Montreal nightmare started just one minute later as Carlos Quintero hit a 30 yard in-swinger that hit the far post and caromed away harmlessly. The shot seemed to inspire the Santos players and fans as Montreal suddenly seemed to be on their heels.
Just 3 minutes later Santos added another to their tally bringing the score to 3-2. The goal was scored by Martias Vuoso, his second of the game.
The substitutions made by Montreal manager John Limniatis left the team without the ability to hold possession as he subbed in defensive players. As well, Montreal looked exhausted from playing defense a good portion of the evening and this being only their second 90 minute competitive match this spring.
Finally, Santos unrelenting pressure created the impossible. First Quintero scored 2 minutes into injury time. The score was now even up in aggregate and Montreal still had 2 more minutes of injury time to sustain the Mexican teams assault.
Right after the restart following the 4th Santos goal, the team swarmed the Impact and Montreal didn’t look to have the fortitude to withstand the rush. Finally, Quintero received a short through ball that the lead legged Impact defenders swung at wildly and missed. Quintero shot low past Matt Jordan and immediately raced to the corner of the field where he was joined by teammates and supporters in a comeback celebration for the ages.
Watching from a local perspective, I was disappointed that we didn’t have another USL team advance further into the competition. I also had to laugh to myself as I could already hear in my head the Dark Cloud supporters relentlessly chiding the Impact about this loss when the team makes their first stop into the Twin Cites on July 11th, to play the Minnesota Thunder.
Congratulations go out to the Montreal Impact. They had a great run.
Complete video highlights with all 7 goals and the Santos celebration.