With the Montreal Impact losing 3-0 and entering the final minutes against Houston on Tuesday, their season which had started so promisingly was about to come to an end in the first round of the playoffs.
Then as the clock hit 89 minutes, all hell broke lose.
First Andreas Romero kicked out at Kofie Sarkodie by the corner flag, then as a mass of players bundled in to give their two cents, star striker Marco Di Vaio turned into a human cat and started scratching people in the face.
What is all that about? Both players were given a red card, and following Nelson Rivas’ 70th minute ejection the Impact finished the game, and the season, with just 8-men on the pitch.
Yes I know it was the heat of the moment and Montreal had seen their season whimper out like a damp squib, but the complete unprofessionalism of that ending was shambolic.
But what about the manager?
Rumors are swirling around that Marco Schällibaum may not be in charge next season, following a remarkable nosedive in the last few months. For most of the season Montreal led the way in the East, but when the pressure was on, their Swiss manager cracked in his first season in charge.
Starting former Inter Milan defender Rivas last night was a huge mistake, the guy hadn’t played a single second of the MLS regular season and was then thrown in at the deep end at center back. After 27 minutes Houston were 2-0 up and Montreal’s dream was all but over.
Will Impact owner Joey Saputo fire Schällibaum? We will have to wait and see. But his reputation as one of the most ruthless owners in MLS doesn’t bode well for the experienced Swiss coach who saw his side implode when the MLS playoffs arrived in Montreal for the first-time in history.
Back to the drawing board.