MONTREAL – CF Montréal needed a win on Decision Day to qualify for the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs but fell short with a 2-0 home loss to Orlando City SC.

After going down 1-0, Romell Quioto thought he notched Montréal’s equalizer but the Honduran forward was called offside. The play got the hosts red with rage, as head coach Wilfried Nancy was yellow-carded while he demanded an explanation.

Following the match, Nancy didn’t blame the referee. But the first-year manager still wanted a closer look at a play that helped sink them to 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings.

“When a referee makes a mistake during the game, there's emotion, there’s stress,” Nancy said. “But for the person responsible for Video Review to make a mistake when they are sitting down watching the game and there’s maybe one meter between the players, it’s scandalous. It’s as simple as that, it’s just scandalous.”

“I never spoke about referees. I know their role, we need them but we put a system in place to avoid mistakes like this one and today we have a goal disallowed,” Nancy added.

Montréal’s MLS season comes to an abrupt end with an aura of disappointment floating around the squad. Nancy felt like his team was worthy of a playoff spot given their tumultuous 2021 campaign, one that began with a home base in Florida due to COVID-19 pandemic travel limitations. He took over ahead of the opener, all after Thierry Henry departed his managerial post.

“I would have liked this to end differently because the players deserved to make the playoffs,” Nancy said. “We’re growing, although I would have liked to grow a little differently but we’re growing.”

Nancy added that he felt a lot of pride for his players. While many did not envision CF Montréal’s chances at a playoff push, even placing them dead last in preseason predictions, Nancy holds no animosity towards that.

“People at the start of the season said that Montréal would be last but again, nobody knew who I was as a coach, nobody knew the players that came in,” Nancy said. “I don’t even blame them but there are predictions and that’s the way it is. We focused on ourselves.”

While Montréal’s MLS season might be over, there's still one more game to look forward to. Nancy’s squad will face their Canadian Classique rivals Toronto FC in the 2021 Canadian Championship final. The date and location of the final are yet to be determined.

Despite the wound left from missing the playoffs, CF Montréal are adamant on finishing positively and adding an 11th Voyageurs Cup to their trophy cabinet. Should that happen, they'll book a 2022 Concacaf Champions League spot.

“Of course there will be disappointment, of course it’s going to sting in the next few days,” Nancy said. “But we have a final and the squad deserves to win it because of the work they put in. We’ll give them their space in the next few days and we’ll come back to work hoping that we can play it at home this time around.”