MONTREAL – Didier Drogba has played his last game in Montreal. But he hopes he still has two more games for the Impact.
The legendary Ivorian striker told the capacity crowd of 61,004 at Olympic Stadium after Montreal's 3-2 win over Toronto FC that he indeed had played his final home game for the Impact on Tuesday night.
Drogba came off the bench to replace Matteo Mancosu in the 71st minute of the first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship series and had a couple of opportunities to give Montreal a two-goal margin to take to the return leg in Toronto next Wednesday (7 pm ET; FS1, TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, RDS).
Afterwards he declined to discuss his future plans beyond the end of his second MLS season with the Impact, who are bidding to beat out Toronto to become the first Canadian team to play in an MLS Cup final.
"Come on, there's still one, maybe two more games to go," Drogba told reporters in the Impact dressing room. "Let's speak about next week's game. I think it's more important than if it's finished or not. Everybody knows that it was my last game here and now, that's it, let's focus on the [conference championship]."
When he arrived in North America as a Designated Player in July 2015, Drogba stated that he had come to Montreal and MLS to win. He scored 21 goals in 33 regular-season games with the Impact, who reached the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in each of his two seasons with the team.
"I had one and a half years of good emotions," Drogba said. "I think we made history. And when I came I said that I wanted to make history with the club, and for the first time after a long moment we went last season to play against Columbus in the semifinal of this competition. And this year we are in the conference final, so it's a good progress and I'm quite happy with the way things are going and I kind of reached the target. But there's still some room to break some more records."
Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush has enjoyed being Drogba's teammate, and isn't ready to let him go just yet.
"Obviously he's been very influential within this locker room," Bush said. "You know, everyone's congratulating him at the end of the game and all that, and I went up to him and said, 'I don't know why everyone's congratulating you, we still have two games left.' So we'll congratulate him properly within this locker room when our season's over, and hopefully that will be in a few weeks from now."
Montreal captain Patrice Bernier credited Drogba with infusing the team with a winning attitude, and he'd like to see the Impact help him make his stated goal come true.
"He's still here for another couple of weeks, I hope, and we'll make the most of that," Bernier said. "When he first came here, he said he wanted to come here to win. He brought that confidence, that mentality, and the only way we can repay him is to give him the Cup."