Montreal Impact admit there's "mountain" to climb to make playoffs

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Hassoun Camara - Montreal Impact - puts his hands on his head in disbelief

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MONTREAL — After losing three straight games for the first time this season, and at the worst possible time, Montreal Impact coach Mauro Biello held onto his team’s fading hopes of returning to the playoffs.

“Anything is possible,” Biello said after Montreal’s 3-2 loss to Minnesota United FC at Stade Saputo on Saturday night. “We’ve seen a lot of things in this league, anything is possible. It’s disappointing that we lost tonight, but anything is possible.”

The Impact blew a pair of one-goal leads before conceding Abu Danladi‘s winner in the 89th minute. The defeat left Montreal five points behind the New York Red Bulls for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

“We pushed for the winner, we took the lead twice, but in the end you can’t give up goals that easy, especially not at home,” Biello said. “And in the end, we paid for it. We were pushing, we wanted to get the win, Danladi scores the third goal there, and yeah, they’re disappointed.

“Everybody’s disappointed and it’s not good enough, we’ve got a mountain to climb from here to the end of the season.”

The Impact have lost three straight since a four-game winning streak got them into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. They have six matches left to make up the lost ground.

“Well, you can’t take three goals, that’s for sure, at home,” Biello said. “Tonight we felt that we were going to be able to push and press a little more and win back balls and go at them. And this was a team that played its third game in a week, flying from Vancouver, so there’s no excuses.

“There’s no excuses, but at different moments we couldn’t keep up with the pace in the first half and we let them back in the game.”

With the first of two road games in Toronto looming on Wednesday, midfielder Patrice Bernier described the Impact as “fragile” at the moment.

“It’s tough, you can’t hide it,” Bernier said. “But there are six games left and we have to go play them, we have to win them. Mathematically, it’s going to be very difficult, but we have to go Wednesday with the spirit that we’re going to go there to win a game and break Toronto’s [unbeaten] streak and try to create something that will give us a positive in a short period of time.”

Midfielder Samuel Piette understands the challenge he and his teammates face.

“We have to be realistic, obviously, we know that it’s going to very difficult,” Piette said. “We’re going to Toronto, the top team in the league, but it’s always an exciting game against Toronto and it can go either way. We have to focus on that game.

“There are six games left. It’s mathematically possible, obviously really difficult, but if we don’t believe we can do it, nobody will do it for us. So we have to go and give it our all.”

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