Toronto comeback a "downer," but Montreal still bullish on 2nd leg chances

MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact were victorious, but left with mixed emotions after their one-goal win at home against Toronto FC on Tuesday night in the first leg of their Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Championship series.

Montreal, who won 3-2 before a capacity crowd of 61,004 at Olympic Stadium, roared out to a stunning 2-0 lead 12 minutes in on goals by Dominic Oduro and Matteo Mancosu that came two minutes apart.

Ambroise Oyongo's goal in the 53rd minute extended the Impact's lead to 3-0, but Toronto recovered to score two crucial away goals and put a damper on Montreal's party to begin the all-Canadian series.

"It's a bit of a downer," said Oduro, who finished off a sensational pass by midfielder Patrice Bernier to open the scoring 10 minutes in. "We won the game but we act like it was a loss because of the away-goals situation, but it is what it is. It's a game, it happens. We just have to set our mind really right and go out there and give them the same thing that they give us, we just have to go out and compete. If you want to win the MLS Cup, you have to show that you can go on the road and make stuff happen, and that's exactly what we have to do in Toronto."

Toronto's two away goals mean that if TFC can win 1-0 or 2-1 in the second leg and even the series on aggregate, they would go through. A tie, however, would see Montreal through thanks to their one-goal advantage from Tuesday night.

Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush was asked if Oduro's perception of the result was shared by everybody else in the Montreal locker room.

"No, it feels like a win," Bush said. "I mean, we won the game so it feels like a win. I understand what he's saying, 3-0 obviously would have been a dream scenario but if you asked us at the start of the day, 'If you go to Toronto with the advantage, would you take it?' We absolutely would take it. So we're in a position where they still have to come and beat us in Toronto, so any advantage is an advantage at this point."

Didier Drogba, who told the crowd after the game he had played his last game in Montreal, was not surprised about the range of reactions to the result within the team.

"You see, it depends how you see it," said Drogba, who came off the bench to replace Mancosu in the 71st minute. "The bottle is half empty or half full, it depends how you see it. And I think that you can see it as a disappointment because we conceded two goals and we were saying that we shouldn't concede, and the way we conceded those goals, I think we could have avoided them. And the positive thing is that we scored three goals and we won the game.

"So you go home with mixed feelings, but you have to remember that we won the game and to qualify, it's not only one but two games, so what if we won here, 4-0, then we go there and we lost five? It happened before in Champions League, you know, La Coruna against [AC] Milan won 4-0 at San Siro, and then they lost against La Coruna, I think you remember. So what is the best result?"

Asked for his perspective on the result, Drogba turned the question around, posed it to the reporter who asked him, and then left it at that.

"It doesn't matter," Drogba said. "There's 90 minutes to play and a lot of things will happen during those 90 minutes, maybe more, but I hope we're going to be happy at the end of it."