Harambee Stars Skipper Victor Wanyama was handed his debut for new club Montreal Impact at Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Champions League quarter-final match at Saputo Stadium on Wednesday.
Wanyama played the full match as his team lost 2-1 to Honduras side CD Olimpia at home in the first leg of the clash.
He started the match and assisted Saphir Taider’s lone goal for Montreal Impact, a sensational half-volley.
The former Tottenham star received a yellow card in the 34th minute of the entertaining clash.
The visitors capitalised on ‘silly mistakes’ by the host to quickly take a two-goal lead before half time interval, for the host to put up a spirited fight in the second half that proved futile.
“Today we gave them two gifts, two easy goals, it should not have happened at this level of the competition, and they scored their goals early so it was difficult for us to try and come back in the match,” Wanyama told Montreal Soccer.
?????? AMAZING GOAL!! ??????????
Saphir Taïder scores this beautiful volley to shorten the difference! | #SCCL2020 pic.twitter.com/kO7XuxJz8U
— Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (@TheChampions) March 11, 2020
Montreal Impact coach and Arsenal Legend Thiery Henry decried his team mistakes and their inability to play with the same energy in both halves.
“The first goal is a schoolboy error; the second goal is a schoolboy error. You get countered on a corner kick, and on the other, we knew that they would play long. You cannot have two players jump on the same ball. One jumps, the other runs,” Henry told Montreal Soccer.
Despite the loss, Henry has taken some positives from the match and he believes the team is on an onward trajectory.
“It’s only been five games that we’ve played together, it’s not easy,” Henry added. “I think that you’ve seen some positive plays tonight and you’ve seen plays against New England. So we need to continue, to move forward and play more like that for longer,” he said.
Wanyama hailed his teammates for showing a winning mentality and he believes they can build on their second-half performance to win their away match in Honduras.
“We responded well, we pressed them high, we showed the winning mentality in the second half, that is what we need to do in the second leg,” he said.
The return leg will be played on March 17.