Orlando was better than the Montreal Impact, while Philly defeated the New England Revolution. Both games finished with 1-0. Apparently, the high stakes negatively affected efficiency.
In the opening match of the knockout stage, Orlando clashed with Montreal and won minimally. The sole scorer in this event was Tesho Akindele netting after one hour of play.
He would follow the situation on the field very carefully, using a mistake of Impact’s defense to score a game-winner. Rod Fanni wanted to pass back the ball to his goalkeeper Clement Diop, but due to being under heavy pressure, Montreal’s defender did that recklessly. The ball went past Diop, and Akindele just rushed in to execute.
Overall, Orlando was a much better team, and they had more chances than Canadians, but whenever they got a chance to net, “hosts” lacked focus. They had a higher percentage of ball possession, dictating the tempo throughout most of the time.
On the other side, the only moment worth mentioning came 10 minutes before the end, when Romell Quioto had a chance to level the result, but his header wasn’t accurate.
Sergio Santos is the hero of the Philadelphia Union. The Brazilian scored after 63 minutes in the midst of the Revolution’s pressure, shocking the side from Foxborough. New England was on the surge, but one sloppy pass led to an interception, which resulted in a counter-attack. Jamiro Monteiro went ahead, before finding Santos.
This was his third career goal against the Revs, but for sure, the most important one.
Unlike the match between Orlando and Montreal, this was more interesting, with both teams creating opportunities for netting. The first half saw two excellent chances, one on each side, but there were no scores.
Philadelphia meets the better from Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, and that match is scheduled for July 30 at 8 pm ET.
As for Orlando, they await the winner of Seattle Sounders vs. LAFC. The game is set for July 31 at 7:30 pm ET.