All good streaks come to an end, this one just happened to come to an end in a match where Orlando City simply looked tired from the start. Way too many passes went awry and the Lions were not able to string together any good attacks until the last 5 or 10 minutes.
The Impact took the lead 1-0 and sealed the deal at the very end of stoppage time to make the final score 2-0. Here are our player grades for the match and be sure to vote for your Man of the Match in the poll below!
G, Tally Hall, 6.5 -- In a game where most Montreal attempts ended in misfires, Tally did his part to save what he could and really wasn't much to blame for the two goals that did go in. The first was off of a well taken corner (one of way too many for the Impact) and a stoppage time stunner that is not as much the fault of Seb Hines as it was the result of great determination from Dominic Oduro. Hey, we have to give credit when it is due.
D, Luke Boden, 5.5 -- After playing the full 120 minutes on Wednesday, many where surprised to see Bodz start this one. While fatigue was in issue, Boden made some great defensive plays and contributed a little to the offense but was not able to make use of the mismatch on the left side. His exhaustion showed in the end and he failed to have his usual impact on the game.
D, Sean St. Ledger, 7.5 (MOTM) -- In the beginning of the match, I was sure that Collin and St. Ledger were set to have a spectacular game and I was not 100% wrong. The Republic of Ireland international was able to hold Montreal at bay throughout the match with important challenges and timely tackles.
D, Aurélien Collin, 7 -- Right off the bat, Collin made some spectacular tackles, including one where he walked away in an almost Terminator-esque fashion. Number 78 has been a stalwart on defense all year and we can only hope his hamstring turns out to be okay in the morning.
D, Rafael Ramos, 6 -- While the young Portuguese star has a knack for getting forward on the attack, he was saved several times by the fact that Lewis Neal just isn't an attacking player. Perhaps this game would have turned out better if Adrian Heath had moved Neal back and Ramos forward? All kidding aside, Ramos has the speed to shut down any attacker and move into attacking position himself, but needs to know when to go forward and when to stay back. I will say, once Rivas came in, Ramos did seem to nail down his positioning a lot more often.
M, Cristian Higuita, 4 -- Sloppy giveaways, sloppy fouls, I even cried out for Amobi Okugo to come in at one point (yes, I really did). Higuita has been a sensation in the holding midfield position alongside Darwin Ceren, but tonight did not seem to get anything right. Let's hope he gets it together on Wednesday. He did have one of Orlando's best looks at goal in the first half, but shot just over the bar.
M, Darwin Ceren, 5.5 -- Despite some bad giveaways, which seemed to be the theme of the match, Ceren had a great showing defensively and was able to get the ball out of the opposition's hands (or, feet) when needed. Overall, an average performance from a player that lately has been superb. Chalk it up to showing some rust after returning from international duty.
M, Brek Shea, 5.5 -- Despite not playing in the midweek, Shea wasn't sharp at all playing in his now-customary left wing spot. He did manage a nice cross early but he often looked out of control, especially in the second half. We've come to expect much more from the U.S. International, especially as well rested as he was.
M, Kaká, 5 -- Yes, a five. As in, average. Our captain was not able to make a difference and seemed to give about half of his possessions away to Montreal. Perhaps Inchy should reconsider who he leaves at home for the U.S. Open Cup matches? In fairness, he did have one nice blast that Laurent Ciman cut out, but it was not the captain's best performance.
M, Lewis Neal, 5 -- While Neal may be able to play some great defense, it is obvious his best position is not in an attacking midfield role. He spent most of his time playing back and proved to make almost no difference in the match other than covering for Ramos when the young defender was not able to get back from his runs in time.
F, Cyle Larin, 5.5 -- Larin, back from sensational performances for the Canadian National Team, was not able to recreate his magic on home soil. He had two noticeable chances that he was not able to capitalize on and did make a few good runs but sloppy play and poor first touches proved to make all the difference. Rookies, eh?
D, Seb Hines (49'), 4.5 -- I suppose Hines deserves an A for effort but he was not able to replace what Collin was doing on the pitch. He made a nice effort to get back and block Dominic Oduro's cross attempt but was slow to locate the rebound, which unfortunately went straight back to Dom and ended up in the net.
M, Carlos Rivas (61'), 6 -- If only someone had said penalty kicks could lead to more confidence in younger players. Well, we saw that tonight because for the first time in his MLS career, Carlos Rivas took a spectacular shot that was actually on target. Unfortunately we did not get to see more of the young man but I can only imagine what having his speed alongside Ramos could have done for the full 90.
F, Pedro Ribeiro (77'), 7 -- Week after week, Pedro seems to always make a difference and after the last match in Montreal, we were all expecting exactly what we saw from the Brazilian. Unfortunately, his efforts did not end in a goal, but the man deserves credit for making a huge difference in the match, and getting two shots on frame in his brief appearance. His positioning on crosses was spectacular and he continues to display a great first touch.
That's it for us. Who was your Man of the Match for Orlando City? Vote in the poll below!