COLUMBUS, Ohio – Montreal Impact’s road nightmare is over, with a 2-1 win over Columbus Crew SC on Saturday night at MAPFRE Stadium ending their 25-game winless streak in MLS away from home that started at the end of the 2013 season.
Second-half goals from Maxim Tissot and Andres Romero did the trick for the surging Impact, who have now won four of their last five to move into a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 10 matches.
A stoppage-time goal from Federico Higuain wasn’t enough to save Crew SC from just their second home loss of the season, but it was their second straight loss overall that stretches their winless streak to five games, keeping them in fifth place in the East with 16 points from 14 games.
In what was the third match in eight days for both clubs, the action was a bit slow to build at the outset in what was a largely uneventful first half.
Columbus’ best chance at a goal in the first half came on a sixth-minute corner kick that met striker Kei Kamara unmarked in the center of the box, but his header was high. Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush turned away another Columbus chance right before halftime on a Waylon Francis header.
After the break, the two teams looked completely different, and scoring finally opened in the 55th minute in a confusing play involving the Columbus backline.
Fullback Hector Jimenez nodded down a bouncing ball that was seemingly meant for Michael Parkhurst, who was running toward goal. But the center back glanced at fellow defender Tyson Wahl and neither made a move toward the loose ball. Instead, Impact forward Jack McInerney split the pair and hit a close-range shot at goalkeeper Steve Clark.
Clark saved the first attempt, but Tissot was in the right place at the right time to easily put away the rebound to give the Impact a 1-0 lead. It would be the first of several chances for Montreal, who jumped on every counterattack opportunity given to them by Columbus.
Against the run of play, Crew SC had their best opportunity to grab a goal in the 76th minute, when Montreal was called for handling at the top of their box. Higuain, Crew SC’s set-piece maestro, tried to hit a shot below the wall, but it was stopped.
Montreal would put the match out of reach just moments later, when Ignacio Piatti and Romero broke on an exposed Crew SC defense, who had only Francis back to defend. Romero kept the ball and chipped a shot over a lunging Clark for an easy finish that would bring the match to 2-0.
Higuain would get a consolation goal for Crew SC in stoppage time after collecting a ball knocked down in the Montreal box and slotting it calmly past Bush to bring the final score to 2-1. Columbus would have multiple other half chances in the closing seconds as they launched balls forward, but couldn't find an equalizer.
Montreal remain on the road for their next game and will take on New York City FC on Saturday, while Columbus play host to the LA Galaxy on the same night.