Did you catch your breath yet?
Things began in the 14th minute, when Justin Meram slotted home a ball that was deflected off a Montreal defender. Meram’s incredible luck continued as he was the beneficiary of yet another deflection that saw him score his second goal of the match in the 28th minute.
Crew SC frequently chased the game as the Impact enjoyed an advantage in possession. It looked as if the Impact’s possession advantage would come into play later on in the match. Montreal eventually capitalized on their advantage in the second half.
Ignacio Piatti made the most of a disastrous defensive sequence by Columbus in the 52nd minute by scoring his fourth goal of the season. Montreal continued to bring the pressure as Mauro Biello went to his bench and introduced Anthony Jackson-Hamel into the match.
It took just three minutes for Jackson-Hamel to find the back of the net as his third goal of the season drew the Impact even with Crew SC. Jackson-Hamel has been a dynamic super-sub for Montreal as he adds a spark anytime he steps onto the pitch.
Montreal continued to press forward with their attack into the Columbus final-third. A game-winner from the Impact looked a guaranteed certainty.
Gregg Berhalter countered Montreal’s pressure by introducing Ola Kamara into the game in the 89th minute. It was clear that Kamara was ment to be a release valve and ease the pressure for the Columbus defense.
Columbus got more than they bargained for as Kamara attracted the Montreal defense with his fresh legs; and helped create a three-on-two situation that allowed Justin Meram to get free and score the game winner in the first minute of stoppage-time.
This was Meram’s first hat-trick for Columbus Crew SC and he fulfilled his mother’s wish of scoring a goal on Mother’s Day.
By our calculations; he is good for the next three years on gifts.
Zack Steffen stood tall in the box as he stopped four of six shots in route to the Columbus victory. The 22-year-old’s confidence continues to grow with every game and seems quite comfortable between the posts for Columbus.
Artur returned against the Impact and looked like he didn’t miss a beat. He grew into the match and began imposing his will once he got acclimated to being back in game-speed.
Kekuta Manneh looked good as he went 60-plus minutes for Columbus tonight. He was calculated and dynamic on the ball and could have buried his first goal for Columbus early on in this match.
Columbus’ second half start was downright abysmal.
They started very flat and then were immediately put on their heels after the Piatti goal. They almost had another collapse that looked eerily reminiscent of the Toronto and NYCFC matches. Maybe it was the three games in eight day stretch, but this is a trend that is becoming increasingly more concerning. It will be interesting to see how the team performs with a full week of rest as they prep for their match next Sunday.
A trip to Foxboro, Massachusetts awaits Columbus Crew SC as they will face the New England Revolution for the second time in as many weeks. Kickoff will be at 2:30pm on Sunday, May 21st.