MONTREAL (AFP) – Montreal Impact’s hopes of progressing in the CONCACAF Champions League suffered a blow on Tuesday as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat in their quarter-final first leg against Olimpia of Honduras.
Montreal, who reached the final of the competition in 2015, dominated territory and possession but were left ruing some sloppy defending that gifted Olimpia two first half goals.
Thierry Henry’s side now face a daunting away trip to San Pedro Sula for next week’s second leg with Olimpia in pole position to advance.
Olimpia’s Jerry Bengston fired the Honduran visitors into the lead after only 15 minutes at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium after indecision in the Impact defence.
Bengston then played a part in Olimpia’s second goal after 41 minutes, latching onto a long ball that caused chaos in the Impact defensive ranks before Jorge Benguche made it 2-0 with a low finish.
Montreal started the second half with more purpose and roared back into the contest when Algerian international Saphir Taider unleashed a 30-yard screamer in the 47th minute to make it 2-1.
But despite dominating possession thereafter, Montreal were unable to find an equaliser, with Anthony Jackson-Hamel going closest after flashing an easy header wide on 77 minutes.
The Impact looked to have been thrown a lifeline in the 82nd minute when referee Adonai Escobedo pointed to the penalty spot after Maylor Nunez was adjudged to have handled.
But after consulting with his assistant, Escobedo reversed his decision and Olimpia were able to hold on for the win.