Throughout the week, the Columbus Crew SC players and coaches talked about doing things better against the Montreal Impact after the 2-1 home loss earlier this season. A trip across the border and 90 minutes of soccer later and the Black & Gold will have to keep that talk going.
Crew SC dominated the June 6 meeting between the two sides at MAPFRE Stadium, but a 3-0 loss at Stade Saputo was anything but domination.
Once again, it was poor defense that cost the Black & Gold early.
Five minutes into the match Ignacio Piatti dribbled into the Crew SC half and by midfielder Tony Tchani. He played a ball into the 18-yard box where former Columbus attacker Dominic Oduro beat a sliding Emanuel Pogatetz to the ball and finished for the 1-0 lead.
On a short corner three minutes later, midfielder Marco Donadel gave Montreal a 2-0 lead. Fellow midfielder Callum Mallace played the ball to Donadel in the middle of the pitch and he unleashed a long-range rocket that beat goalkeeper Steve Clark to the top corner.
After building the two-goal lead, the Impact sat back content to counterattack. Because of this, Columbus began to create chances.
League leading goal scorer Kei Kamara had a couple of chances for Crew SC on corner kicks, but his headers were off the mark.
In the 32nd minute, right back Hector Jimenez went down and had to be substituted. In came defender Chris Klute and Jimenez limped to the bench.
Two minutes after the change, Ethan Finlay got into the box for the Black & Gold. He fired a shot that hit Donadel's foot and bounced up off his arm. Finlay pleaded with the official for the penalty kick, but none was given.
To begin the second half, midfielder Wil Trapp checked in for Mohammed Saeid. The midfielder is returning from concussion symptoms and the 45 minutes played was the most since April 11.
In the 50th minute, it appeared Columbus had a lifeline back in the match from the penalty spot. Tony Tchani played a through ball in for Finlay who was taken down by Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush, but Finlay was flagged for being offside.
The best chance of the night for the Black & Gold came from Tchani in the 59th minute. The midfielder hit a curling shot from 30 yards out that Bush just touched to push over the crossbar.
Crew SC had a few chances in the second half to make a game of it, but failed to convert.
Finally, 10 minutes from time, Oduro finished things off with his second of the night.
Another former Black & Gold midfielder, Dilly Duka, took a shot from the right-hand side. Clark made what appeared to be a routine save, but bobbled the ball and Oduro was there for the easy clean up.
Crew SC next play Wednesday at the Chicago Fire, followed by another meeting with the Fire next Sunday. After this loss, this becomes a big week for the Black & Gold to get points against an Eastern Conference rival.