Victor Wanyama and Mustafa Kizza’s head coach Thierry Henry has explained why the players should not be entirely sad despite Concacaf Champions League exit in the hands of Club Olimpia of Paraguay.
Although Montreal Impact emerged 1-0 winners, they were eliminated at they tied on a 2-2 aggregate and Olimpia advanced courtesy of the away goals tiebreaker.
The Canadian outfit inflicted Olimpia's first loss after they enjoyed an unbeaten record across all competitions; a period that dates back before even the coronavirus shook the football world.
“We’re out so the emotion is, obviously we’re sad of being out,” Henry said after the game as per MLS Soccer. “But we beat a team that didn’t lose a game for a very long time, and rightly so, by the way. But we couldn’t score the second goal.”
Montreal Impact would have progressed had Rudy Camacho been clinical enough with a late chance but Henry did not blame him and chose to pick other factors that might have affected them.
“If Rudy scored that would have been the cherry on the cake but obviously it didn't happen,” added the Arsenal great.
“But I'm proud of my team. Once again, what can I say? We didn’t train for two weeks, we were in quarantine, guys were missing, we trained six times only – seven times but the day before the game, you don’t count that – and we performed.
“They had cramps at the end of the game, we didn't. So, there's nothing I can say to the team. They tried, they battled, they came back, they crossed the ball, they headed the ball, they went in.
“Obviously we’re disappointed with not being in the next round, but when you look at the opportunities that we created in both games, we should have gone through. At the end of the day, if you don’t put the ball in the back of the net in football, you don’t win the games.”
Henry summarised his time with the Canadian side and said the players are brave despite the setbacks they have suffered together.
“When I arrived, I said that this team is going to be a team that’s going to fight. It didn't always happen all season, and when it didn’t happen, I said it after some games: this team is going to try to play, and you saw that we’re trying to play against anyone,” he concluded.
“Sometimes we got caught, as you know, but this team is brave, wants to play, fights. So we have to keep on doing that, and way better, obviously.
“There’s a lot of positives to take from this season to bring into next season.”
The match against Olimpia was Wanyama’s first game since representing Kenya in the November international assignments. Uganda international Kizza also started as he continues to enjoy minutes since his November arrival.