Last week, I watched as Montreal took on Chicago at home and beat them with some nice counter-attacking that ended in several goals for Felipe. They were patient. They waited for an opportunity to pounce, and in the end the made some clever well thought-out passes through the defense and slotted away a decently easy opportunity.
Such was the case once again as Montreal outlasted Sporting for 95 minutes, took advantage of sloppy midfield play, and then combined some nice semi-counter attacking with a great through ball that put a Montreal player 1v1 with the keeper who was beat by a smart finish.
Let's cross off the usual complaint:
1) It was the refs fault. Nope. Ref had a decent game, handled KC's fouling styles pretty well and booked Uri for persistent fouling. No problems here, a couple missed calls but so what.
Who can we place the blame on for the loss?
1) Lack of creative attacking ideas. If you read my last post, and paid attention to the ways Sporting decided to spend their attacking turns, you are pretty disappointed. Lots of square balls around the box, lots of crosses to no one, and way too many times, people standing around waiting for someone else to make that run resulting in nasty end results to possible attacks.
When Sporting did try to play through the middle, they tried lots of quick one two passes that were just NOT working tonight.
2) Mid-field possession problems. Although it's hard to pin-point any momment in time that defined a game, I'm going to do it. Late in stoppage time the mid-field team of Sporting made SEVERAL easy passes right to the feet of Montreal players, which almost directly (ie they got the ball and then were able to pressure and score rather than Sporting getting a chance) resulted in the goal.
Sloppy midfield play and bad link-up play between the midfield team doomed Sporting.