Columbus Crew SC hoped a visit from a Montreal Impact side that was winless on the road in 2015 would stop the slide of poor defense and dropped points, That certainly didn't happen as the visitors scored twice and won their first ever game in MAPFRE Stadium 2-1, sending Columbus to their second straight defeat and extended the winless streak to five.
Columbus started strong with some sharp movement. Ethan Finlay attacked the soft left side of the Impact defense as the Montreal defense bent, but didn't break. Columbus would get off seven shots, but only two on target in the first half. Crew SC would get their best chance of the half right before the whistle. A Hector Jimenez cross from the right lofted far post. Waylon Francis crashed into the six-yard box and forced Evan Bush into an acrobatic save.
The momentum didn't last as Maxim Tissot picked up the first Impact goal after the break. Romero cut through the Crew SC defense and tried to chip Hector Jimenez. Jimenez headed the ball toward his central defenders, but Michael Parkhurst was trailing the play and Tyson Wahl froze. Romero picked up the loose ball, fired a low shot, and forced a save from Steve Clark. Tissot ran onto the rebound and chipped a prone Clark. A total defensive breakdown.
Columbus would still struggle to respond. The Impact would again break open the Crew SC defense in the 59th minute forcing Clark into two saves back to back. Jack McInerney was offside in the initial move so the shots didn't count, but the intent did.
The next chance also fell to the visitors. Piatti repeatedly got into the open field an in the 64th minute nearly extended the lead. He broke past the pushed up Crew SC defense and forced a save from Clark. Romero ripped a long range shot off the post on the resulting corner kick, but again Montreal was close to breaking through again.
That breakthrough would come in the 79th minute as Crew SC pushed for an equalizer. The home side had a dangerous free kick at the top of the 18 yard box and pushed up numbers into the attack. The attack was cleared towards midfield and fell to Piatti with Romero running with him and only Francis defending. Piatti took the ball and found Romero with Clark committed. He chipped the stranded Crew SC keeper to make it 2-0.
Crew SC would get a late goal, but it was of little consolation. Wahl sent a hopeful ball forward that Aaron Schoenfeld nodded centrally. The Impact failed to clear the danger and Higuain ran up on the loose ball and easily beat Bush to give a glimmer of hope. The Impact would see out the remains of the four minutes of stoppage time to get the win.
Columbus drops to 4-6-4 (16 points) and Montreal improves to 4-4-2 (14 points). With the loss, Columbus dropped to sixth in the Eastern Conference standings and now sits below D.C. United, the New England Revolution, Toronto FC, New York Red Bulls, and Orlando City. Los Angeles comes to town next Saturday evening with Columbus reeling. Another poor result could see Crew SC tumble out of a playoff spot.