Last night at 11:00pm I was watching teh Montreal-Santos Laguna CONCACAF Quarterfinal. I was rooting for the Impact and at half-time they looked almost like sure winners. They came into the match with a 2-0 aggregate leader. The Impact had conceded one goal but scored twice in the first half to lead 4-1 on aggregate with two critical away goals. Looking good right--
Then came the collapse and it was a monumental collapse, one for the record books really. I can't even come up with a comparison in soccer. For baseball fans, it would be like the Yankees being 8 runs ahead with one out in the bottom of the ninth and then getting shellacked.
Santos Laguna scored four goals in the final half, including two in stoppage time to cap an extraordinary come back. The second half looked like a finishing exercise for Santoa, seriously, the number of crosses, shots and attempts made it look as though Montreal were a U12 teams playing against a bunch of in form pros (which Santos were). Montreal were walking, they looked like zombies for most of the second half. Gone was the exciting counterattacks, the zippy passing and teh slashing runs that had Santos on their heels in Montreal and keeping Montreal competitiv last night. Instead, Montreal bunkered and they couldn't handle the 9 man attack that Santos was pushing.
Furthermore, in the final mintues Montreal had the chances to take the ball and run to a corner and hold it, killing off teh clock, but didn't take them.
To be honest, when Santos scored their third goal, I thought Montreal were beaten last night. Their heads were hanging, hands were on their hips and they were sucking wind. At that point, Santos's only opponent was the clock, would they have enought time to score two more. The last goal for Santos was practially handed to them on a platter and the dismal penalty area defending doomed Montreal.
Now, only Puerto Rico remains of USL teams and as much as I hope they beat Cruz Azul to make it to the finals, but I fear an all Mexican final.