With three games left to the regular season and very little time left to salvage playoff hopes, there was little room for error heading into Sunday’s game.
But little error there was. Dominic Oduro’s lone goal in the second half lifted the Montreal Impact to a 1-0 victory over Orlando City in front of 26,041 at Camping World Stadium.
The defeat was a disastrous result. Needing to win to keep its playoff hopes alive, the Lions (7-11-14, 23 points) bowed out of playoff contention for the second year in a row.
Orlando outshot Montreal 22-4 and dominated possession with 68 percent. But Montreal had the goal, which came in the 56th minute after Ignacio Piatti’s pass deflected off defender Sebastian Hines, finding Oduro who made the solo run to strike the ball past Joe Bendik.
Cyle Larin came close to scoring the tying goal after Julio Baptista connected with Luke Boden, who then whipped in a cross toward the Canadian striker. Larin then struck from close range, but Evan Bush managed to save the ball from entering the net.
The Lions made two substitutions in opening moments of the first half. Kevin Molino was substituted for Baptista, and David Mateos sustained an injury in the 51st minute, which resulted into Seb Hines entering the game for the center back.
It was the third meeting between both teams, with Orlando winning the first two games earlier this season.
With the playoffs out of the picture, Orlando City will visit the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, Oct. 16 at Talen Energy Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled at 3 p.m.
(Photo Courtesy of Heather Rosario / The Skyboat)