Montreal Impact 1-1 Columbus Crew
The Montreal Impact (4-1-1) and the Columbus Crew (2-1-3) played to a 1-1 draw in the Stade Saputo home opener on Sunday, following a one-day delay due to poor weather conditions. Designated player Marco Di Vaio scored the lone goal for the Impact in the second half. With this tie, the Impact remains first in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Impact opened the score in the 68th minute, when substitute Sanna Nyassi, who came into the game a minute earlier, involuntarily redirected the ball to Marco Di Vaio at the top of the box following a cross from the left flank. The Impact forward fired a low, well-struck shot to the short side, beating Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum just inside the post as he dove to his right.
Crew forward Dominic Oduro squared things up in the 72nd minute when he blasted a half volley from a tight angle close to the six-yard box that dipped under the bar, far post, subsequently ending the team's 184 minute shutout streak at home.
Impact defender and Academy product Maxim Tissot made his first career appearance in MLS, coming on in the 88th minute.
Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum served a one-game suspension following his ejection from the last game versus Kansas City. Assistant coach Mauro Biello ran the bench in his absence.
"It's probably one of the first times this season we took control of the game in the second half. We had the ball more often and we created chances," said Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello. "Visiting teams are going to come here and shoot for a tie, so naturally they'd want to close down the middle. For us, we had to create from the wings and find some depth. I think we did that well in the second half with Justin Mapp and then Sanna Nyassi. We did enough to win the game, but we'll take the point, especially with all the outside factors like the delay, losing Ferrari just before game time and coming off of a two week break."
"The mentality is different because you think you're starting on the bench," said Karl W. Ouimette, who replaced Matteo Ferrari in the starting lineup. "The preparation is a little different as well, but I've always said you have to be ready at all times in case you get your number called, and I was good to go."
"We were happy with effort in the second half, but we wanted the three points," said defender Jeb Brovsky. "Giving up that goal right after we scored ours was kind of a dagger in our hearts. We are going to take a look at things this week, see where we need to tighten up, and see where we can be more dangerous in attack."
In 35th minute, Crew midfielder Ben Speas hammered one from 30 yards out, square to goal, but Perkins pushed the dipping ball over the bar.
The best scoring chance of the first half came off of the foot of Crew forward Federico Higuain, who was all alone at the top of the box in the 39th minute. Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who was name the Videotron Player of the Match, came charging out to cut the angle and was able to block Higuain's blast as he broke in on goal.
In the 62nd minute, a give and go between Mapp and Romero sprung the Argentinean into the box, where he laid the ball of for Di Vaio who was in tight on the keeper, but Gruenebaum was able to stop the striker's attempt.
The Impact came close to regaining the lead in the 78th minute when a give and go near midfield between Di Vaio and Mapp sent the American streaking down the left flank. His cross from near the goal line found Sanna Nyassi six yards out, but his one-time attempt missed far post.
Impact team captain Davy Arnaud made his 250th start in MLS, while Patrice Bernier set a team record with 22 consecutive appearances for the Impact.
The Impact has another bye-week next weekend before playing its first game of the Amway Canadian Championship against Toronto FC at BMO Field on Wednesday, April 24 at 7:30pm (ET). The Impact will return to Stade Saputo to host the Chicago Fire on Saturday, April 27, at 4pm ET.
MTL - GK-Troy Perkins; D-Jeb Brovsky, Alessandro Nesta, Karl W. Ouimette, Hassoun Camara; M- Patrice Bernier, Andrés Romero (Sanna Nyassi 67'), Felipe, Davy Arnaud, Justin Mapp (Andrew Wenger 80'); F-Marco Di Vaio (Maxim Tissot 88')
Unused subs: GK-Evan Bush; M-Wandrille Lefèvre, Calum Mallace, Collen Warner
CLB - GK-Andy Gruenebaum; D- Josh Williams, Chad Marshall, Glauber, Tyson Wahl; M-Danny O'Rourke (Kevan George 82'), Agustin Viana, Ben Speas (Jairo Arrieta 72'), Eddie Gaven; F- Dominic Oduro (Ethan Finlay 77'), Federico Higuain
Unused subs: GK-Matt Lampson; D-Chad Barson; M-Matias Sanchez; F-Ryan Finley
MTL - Di Vaio 68'
CLB - Oduro 72'
MTL - Arnaud 29'
CLB - Williams 40'
CLB - Higuain 58'