Nothing is easy for Crew SC. They pushed out to a three goal lead borne off a PK call that spurred a heated argument between between Federico Higuain and Kei Kamara, then blew it in the 35 minutes that remained as the Impact scored three straight.
Crew SC had a good chance to get a very early opener. Ethan Finlay drove an early cross that found Kamara. He then pushed a header across the box and found Federico Higuain. The Argentine chose to settle the ball and the defense collapsed and cleared. The chance for an opener in the first 10 minutes went by the wayside.
Montreal nearly had thier chance in the 15th minute with two point blank chances. Harry Shipp slipped in behind the defense and closed in on the right side of goal, but Steve Clark came off his line quickly to snuff the shot. Clark then popped up to snuff out Piatti's followup and stop the danger.
Columbus capitalized on the missed opportunity on the other end with a push forward with pace. Making his first start, Corey Ashe was finally able to get involved as he settled over the ball and played a ball into the space that Justin Meram zipped into. With the defense closing, Meram took a touch back to the right and drove a cross across the six yard box, over the head of Laurent Ciman, and connected with Kamara. He didn't miss with the powerful header.
The Impact would strike back against the run of play ten minutes later. Ignacio Piatti would shed Harrison Afful, connect on a quick give and go with Didier Drogba , and wriggled to set up just enough space to curl a perfect finish past a diving Clark to tie the game. A beautiful goal from an excellent individual bit of skill.
Columbus would get another chance to grab a lead ten minutes before halftime with a mad scramble on the Impact goal line, but would fail to score. Meram took in the ball in the Impact box, but was pushed out wide. He then pushed the ball out to Afful. The cross was zipped near post and Kamara drove it off the right post and was cleared up. The second Kamara header was parried by the crossbar.
Crew SC would still grab the first half lead as the game moved into stoppage time. Michael Parkhurst drove a direct ball that confused the Impact backline. Victor Cabrera misjudged the flight and couldn't recover from the contact with Kamara as they tracked the ball. Evan Bush was slow to get off his line and Kamara touched it past him and finished into the open net. The referee whistled for halftime as Montreal kicked off.
Columbus looked to be crushing as the second half opened. Wil Trapp found Afful on the right side. With space ahead, he drove a shot at Bush that was blocked. With the ball plinking around, it fell to Higuain at the doorstep. He finished calmly to push the advantage to 3-1.
Crew SC weren't finished. With the Impact chasing, Columbus broke at speed with Higuain sending a ball forward to Meram. As Meram cut into the penalty box, Marco Donadel clipped his leg and earned a penalty. It would take more than a minute for Columbus to take the attempt as Higuain and Kamara got into a fierce argument to decide who was going to take. Eventually Parkhurst would have to step in to settle the matter. Higuain converted as Kamara fumed as he headed towards the Crew SC end well away from the attempt.
The game appeared well in hand with a 4-1 lead from the home side, but the Impact would quickly get back into the game. Piatti broke into the open, but Parkhurst had turned back the attack. As Piatti retreated, Finlay attempted a tackle and Piatti went down. Armando Villareal called his second penalty of the game. Replays show this one as more suspect. Didier Drogba finished to make it 4-2 in the 57th minute.
Montreal cut the once insurmountable lead to a single goal a minute later. Dominic Oduro strode into the box as the Crew SC defense struggled to contain the danger. Oduro dropped a pass across the box that pulled the defense entirely apart and gave Lucas Ontivero an open look that he easily finished. In the 13 minutes from halftime, Crew SC had extended the lead from 2-1 to 4-1 then gave up two. Columbus would take a single goal advantage into the last half hour.
The game settled into a lull. Columbus would counter the Impact's probes forward. The visitors weren't able to push for the fourth and settled for three long distant shots. Crew SC countered with hopeful efforts of their own. The best chance was when Kamara broke forward with the Impact stretched. He bypassed Finlay's far side help and a certain open chance to take a contested shot. It was blocked.
The Impact then came back to give the game the finish it deserved. With a long throw at the last gasp of the four minutes of stoppage, the ball bounced through the Crew SC penalty box and was stabbed home for a tying goal.
Kamara was interviewed as he walked off the field. When asked what to take from this game he spat "Nothing". The truest words on the night.