After being blown out in Philadelphia and a nightmare trip to Chicago, the Crew were on the ropes. A home date against the Eastern Conference leaders Montreal Impact coming off of an off week was a recipe for yet another home loss, but it was the Black and Gold that came out strong and eased their way to a 2-0 win in front of the biggest crowd of the season at Crew Stadium.
The Crew got on the board early as Matias Sanchez picked up a loose ball from a fouled Dominic Oduro and then fired a shot towards goal. The shot was clipped and was redirected into the net. It was the second fastest score on the year for the Crew.
Oduro nearly doubled the lead in the 15th minute after receiving a slicing cross from Federico Higuain. Troy Perkins parried the close range shot just wide. The Impact would likewise be stymied by the Goalkeeper as Andy Gruenebaum kick saved Andrew Wenger's open shot.
Oduro would get his goal halfway through the first half. He would strip the ball from Collen Warner and sprinted towards the Impact goal. He eluded the chasing defense and side footed a finish past Perkins for his seventh goal of the year.
The Impact would settle and press to cut the lead pressing the Crew defense. Wenger would get another chance late in the half, but he put his shot well over from a tight angle and Montreal was kept off the board in the first half.
The Crew would regroup after the break and keep hold of possession better coming out of the locker room. The Impact offense had gained confidence in the first half struggled again as the Crew played the best defense, possession offense. They didn't test Perkins, but Columbus kept the Impact from any offensive rhythm.
Even though it was Montreal that was pressing to get back into the game, the best chances of the second half would fall to the Crew on the counterattack. Higuain found Oduro on the breakaway, but the Ghanian's half volley was parried by Perkins. Higuain would once again lead the break, but his looping volley from 30 yards cleared the crossbar by 10 feet.
The Crew moved to 5-5-5 on the year. Their 20 points puts them in a tie for sixth place, two points out of the final playoff spot. After all that had gone wrong in June, Columbus has a chance to right the ship. They face Chicago next week at home before heading to a pivotal matchup with Sporting Kansas City. Two dates with Eastern Conference foes gives them a shot at moving further up the table. Now they just need to win.