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Columbus Crew SC Remain Winless After 2-0 Defeat to the Montreal Impact

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It has not been a good start to the season for the Black & Gold.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

From MLS Cup runners up to bottom of the league standings in five matches. That is where Columbus Crew SC sit after a 2-0 loss to the Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon.

It was a slow start for the Black & Gold who uncharacteristically sat back and absorbed the Montreal pressure for much of the first half.

In the 20th minute, the Impact's Ignacio Piatti had the first good chance of the game for either team. He got to the top of the Crew SC 18-yard box and fired a shot that was deflected by defender Michael Parkhurst. The rebound fell awkwardly for the Argentinian but he managed to flick it with his right foot to get off a shot, but it was over goalkeeper Steve Clark's net.

Just a minute later and Montreal came near to scoring once again. This time Piatti played distributor, finding Lucas Ontivero. The midfielder found his way to the top of the penalty area before curling a shot that struck Clark's post and stayed out of the net.

While Columbus didn't have many chances in the first half, being outshot 10-2 over the initial 45 minutes, the Black & Gold could have taken the lead twice through Justin Meram.

On both chances, winger Ethan Finlay beat his man with speed to the end line and delivered a cut-back pass that found Meram in the penalty box. On the first attempt in the 23rd minute, Meram scuffed his shot and the second, 15 minutes later, was skied over the crossbar.

Right before halftime, Finlay had a chance the best chance of the half to open the scoring for Crew SC. Overlapping wing back Harris Afful played a simple pass to the winger in the six-yard box, but Finlay put it over the net from close range.

With the score at 0-0 at the halftime break and the Black & Gold starting to get numbers forward things were looking up for the visitors. Just three minutes into the second half, that all went down the drain.

Ontivero delivered a corner into the danger area and Montreal defender Hassoun Camara rose over Crew SC defender Harrison Afful to head home the opening goal of the match.

Less than 10 minutes later, the Impact nearly doubled the lead. Following a Columbus corner, former Crew SC forward Dominic Oduro led the quick counter which led to a Piatti shot from close range, but Clark came up with the save.

The Black & Gold began to push numbers forward as the half progressed, but continued to get in their own way. With just four minutes remaining, IMFC sealed the deal thanks to a header from midfielder Kyle Bekker.

Once again, Columbus was hit on the counterattack after a Michael Parkhurst gave the ball away near midfield. The Impact's quick break found defender Ambroise Oyongo deep in the Black & Gold attacking third and his cross found Bekker at the back post for the finish.

The good news for the 0-2-3 Crew SC side is that the club has played some of the best teams in Major League Soccer from a year ago and have only played one home game. The bad news is the team continues to struggle to find its identity after making a statement the last two seasons.

Crew SC return home next Saturday when they take on New York City FC.