Ignacio Piatti’s work has started.
The Impact’s new Designated Player notched his first two goals in MLS this Saturday night at Stade Saputo, leading Montreal to a 2-0 win over the in-form Columbus Crew.
Montreal (5-15-5, 20 pts) remains bottom of the Eastern Conference despite the win, while the Crew (8-9-9, 33 pts) is still in fifth place. The New York Red Bulls could, however, leapfrog them with a win at DC United on Sunday.
Piatti first scored in 40th minute. Felipe won the ball in midfield and released Piatti down the right, with the Argentinean DP sprinting toward goal and juking past several Crew defenders before placing his left-footed shot past Steve Clark and inside the far post.
Second-half stoppage time was the scene for Piatti's second. Montreal threw numbers forward on the counter, and Piatti blasted his finish into the net after Marco Di Vaio’s fluffed attempt.
Building on their recent successes, a confident Crew played aggressively early on, pressing high up the field. It nearly paid off a couple of times, with Columbus nearly taking the lead in the fifth minute. Justin Meram and Federico Higuain muscled Andres Romero off the ball down the left. Higuain then skipped past Felipe to lay the ball off for Wil Trapp, whose low shot whistled wide.
But Montreal soon grew into the game and began creating opportunity, mostly for Piatti. Eager to open his MLS account, Piatti had a fine chance in the 30th minute after Patrice Bernier fed him the ball, but the shot was stopped by Clark.
Columbus pushed for an equalizer throughout the second half as Montreal sat back, with Piatti taking turns with Di Vaio as the target up top. Higuain and substitute Aaron Schoenfeld both forced Montreal ‘keeper Evan Bush into saves. But with defensive substitutions made and Piatti’s stoppage-time insurance marker, Montreal calmly marched forward to their second win in three games.
Montreal is on the road next Saturday, when they face the Dynamo in Houston. Columbus, for its part, returns home to host Chivas USA the next day. The club will be without center mid duo Trapp and Tony Tchani, who both picked up suspension-inducing yellows on Saturday.