September 14, 2013, Montreal (ISN) – The Montreal Impact fell to the Columbus Crew 2-1 on Saturday afternoon in front of 20, 210 spectators, a 5th consecutive crowd of over 20,000 at Stade Saputo.
Impact Designated Player Marco Di Vaio scored his league leading 18th goal of the season.
With the loss, the Impact remains tied for top spot in the Eastern Conference, with the New York Red Bulls in action tonight against Toronto FC at Red Bull Arena, while Sporting Kansas City has a bye week.
The Impact scored the first goal of the game for the 15th time this season, in the 23rd minute. Following a cross towards the far post by Patrice Bernier from outside the box, defender Matteo Ferrari played the ball back towards the centre of goal with a header, near the six yard line. Di Vaio found a hole between the defenders and ran onto the ball to put a point blank header past Crew goalkeeper Matt Lampson. Ferrari earned an assist in his 50th career game in MLS, while Bernier found his team-leading 8th assist of the season.
The Crew equalized in the 66th minute when Federico Higuain took a free-kick that curled towards Chad Marshall in the box. The veteran defender got a head on the ball as he jumped to beat Impact keeper Troy Perkins far post.
The visitors then found the lead in the 78th minute when forward Federico Higuain, running down the left flank, found Dominic Oduro on the run behind the Impact defence. The midfielder managed to get a toe on the ball, redirecting past Perkins as he charged out.
“Definitely Columbus is our nemesis,” said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. “We haven’t won against them yet and I think if we would have been able to get that second goal we would have won, but it was not meant to be. That’s soccer.”
“I thought we played very well in the first half,” added Arnaud. “We came out in the second half and it wasn’t perfect. Ideally it would be, but at 1-0 we still created some chances that we didn’t score on. Unfortunately, we let them back into the game on a set piece. We talked about it during the week and we were conscious that we had to be careful on these set pieces since they are very good with them.”
“We had a lot of chances and we controlled the game well from the first ten minutes,” said Marco Di Vaio. “Columbus is a tough team for us to play against, so it was no surprise for us tonight that the game was hard.”
In the 9th minute, from near the half-circle, Felipe half-volleyed a ball into space down the right flank with his back to goal. Midfielder Justin Mapp, on a breakaway, put the ball a little too far ahead and managed to lunge forward to push the ball towards goal, but Crew keeper Matt Lampson came sliding out to block the attempt.
In the 35th minute, Impact captain Davy Arnaud found some space in the box, but his shot was slightly deflected by a Crew defender, just missing to the left of goal.
Two minutes later, following a corner kick by Mapp, Felipe played Bernier who was square to goal outside of the box, but his blast was pushed over the bar by Lampson.
Di Vaio came close to finding a second one on the afternoon in extra time when he hammered a low shot from inside the box, but the ball destined for the short side corner was stopped by Lampson who made a diving save.
A short passing play between Mapp and Felipe found Di Vaio inside the 18, right of goal, but Di Vaio’s low, right-footer was punched away by a diving Lampson in the 56th minute.
Crew striker Jairo Arrieta used a quick touch to cut inside the box in the 62nd minute, but his low shot was caught as Perkins dove to his left.
On Sunday, following the Procure Walk of Courage, the Impact will travel to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes on Tuesday, September 17, at 10pm ET in CONCACAF Champions League action. The game will be broadcast on TVA Sports.
The team will then return to Stade Saputo to host the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, September 21, at 2pm ET, in a regular season matchup.
MTL – GK-Troy Perkins; D-Jeb Brovsky, Alessandro Nesta, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara; M-Collen Warner (Sanna Nyassi 82′), Patrice Bernier, Davy Arnaud (Andrés Romero 71′), Felipe (Daniele Paponi 79′), Justin Mapp, F-Marco Di Vaio
Subs not used: GK-Evan Bush; D-Wandrille Lefèvre; M-Andrea Pisanu; F-Andrew Wenger
CLB – GK-Matt Lampson; D-Agustin Viana, Tyson Wahl, Chad Marshall, Chad Barson; M-Tony Tchani (Kevan George 84′), Dominic Oduro, Bernardo Anor (Justin Meram 86′), Will Trapp; F-Federico Higuain, Jairo Arrieta (Ethan Finlay 75′)
Subs not used: GK-Daniel Withrow; M-Matias Sanchez; F-Ryan Finley, Ben Speas
MTL – Di Vaio (Ferrari, Bernier) 23′
CLB – Marschall (Higuain) 66′
CLB – Oduro (Higuain) 78′
CLB – Tchani 62′
MTL – Felipe 77′