Columbus Crew SC has a chance to clinch a playoff berth today as they head north of the border to face the Montreal Impact. They need a single point today to secure their spot for the postseason. With Philadelphia a single point behind, the Black & Gold could use a win to keep a hold on 4th and keep a hope of getting to 3rd place alive.
Crew SC remains healthy and will roll out a full strength lineup, but it’s the same lineup that has struggled to the second worst goals scored in the league (though expected goals sits a more respectable 11th). Gyasi Zardes has an impressive 16 goals scored, but Federico Higuain is second with 5, and Niko Hansen is third with 3. They need support from starting wingers Pedro Santos and Justin Meram.
The Impact are led by creative maestro Ignacio Piatti. He has 13 goals and 13 assists on the year, leading Montreal in both categories. Saphir Taider has chipped in six goals while Alejandro Silva has added 10 assists. This can be a dynamic team, but the defense has given up goals in bunches when the team breaks down. Summer signing Bakary Sagna has struggled to adapt and hasn’t been the reinforcement they hoped for.
Fulltime: Crew SC fall 3-0 to the Impact. Bad all around.
88’ This game is nearly over. Hansen will be the last sub when the ball stops.
81’ Another Bush save. Grella took the centering pass from Valenzuela. Good chance, better stop.
78’ Mullins scuffs his shot wide. Afful centers and Zardes clips it with his heel. Mullins tried to finish it up, but it’s that type of day for Crew SC, down 3-0.
75’ Mullins with a chance, but it’s cleared… offside anyway.
73’ Another Impact chance and another big Steffen save.
69’ Grella and Mullins come in for Santos and Meram. It looks like a two striker formation now.
65’ Willams clearance is blocked and Amarikwa gets off a shot as Willams switched off. Steffen makes a save on the resulting corner to keep it 3-0.
58’ Crew SC with some possession and they earn a corner kick. Santos sends it in and Bush grabs it easily. Impact race down and score on the counter. Piatti. 3-0.
52’ Another Crew SC free kick. Bush picks up the loose ball.
50’ Free kick for Crew SC as Trapp brought down. Higuain bends it wide of the upright. 2-0 Crew SC trail.
2nd half kicks off. No changes yet for Crew SC.
Halftime. Crew SC trail the Impact 2-0. Terrible drop off in focus and intensity in the last 20 minutes.
45’ Silva barrels down the middle of the field and blasts a shot to make it 2-0. Terrible decisions all around there.
43’ Afful turns it over right to Piatti. The curling shot is just over. Living dangerously there.
40’ Silva with a long distance blast. Steffen parries and Afful clears.
36’ Another massive Bush save as Santos crosses to Zardes. Power header right on the doorstep is punched away.
32’ Taider takes the penalty and he converts. 1-0 Montreal over Crew SC.
30’ Silva centers the ball and it clips Williams on the arm. After a VAR check it’s a penalty.
26’ Impact again trying to move in transition, but Williams cuts out the outlet to the left side of the defense. 0-0
24’ Azira gets a chance from 25 yards out. Steffen saves easily. Not much zip on that shot.
18’ Montreal breaks at pace on a Crew SC turnover. Piatti finds Silva in the box, but the defense collapses and snuffs out the danger.
15’ Santos gets off a shot from 22 yards, but it’s at Bush. Some offensive flow now for Crew SC.
14’ Afful in on goal after a big switch from Higuain. Bush makes the huge stop. Zardes’ second shot goes over. Still 0-0, barely.
10’ Piatti earns a corner. He slides up the left and Jonathan clears the cross. Steffen grabbed the Taider corner service.
7’ Crew SC in possession. Montreal with a solid midfield press. It’s 0-0 with no chances for either side.
Kickoff in Montreal. Crew SC in yellow.
Montreal Impact have struggled to hold on to the 6th spot in the east. Ralph Schudel takes a look at the danger the wounded Impact can create. Crew SC on the road isn’t giving the staff much confidence. Crew SC tells Pat Murphy that it’s time to clinch.
Injuries & Suspensions:
Columbus Crew SC: Edward Opoku picked up a lower leg injury that has limited him in training and will keep him out of the 18.
Montreal Impact: Midfielder David Choiniere has been on the long term injury list after his April ankle surgery. Defender Kyle Fisher’s quad injury will keep him on the sideline too.
How to watch:
Date: Saturday, October 6th, 2018, 3:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Stade Saputo (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
TV: CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2