COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC returned to MAPFRE Stadium for the first time in 25 days with a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Impact on Saturday. Despite a nail-biting first half that ended in even at a goal apeice, the second half was stuffed with Black & Gold goals.
Crew SC opened the scoring in the 17th minute, thanks to Federico Higuain, before a dramatic Anthony Jackson-Hamel strike equalized just two minutes later.
The Black & Gold swung the second half wholly in their favor starting with Kekuta Manneh's 70th minute game-winner coming just seconds after he substituted for Justin Meram. It was his first Crew SC goal since joining the club via trade in March. Ola Kamara assisted the strike, bursting into the box before back-heeling the ball toward the penalty spot and an on-rushing Manneh.
Manneh returned the favor two minutes later and assisted Kamara’s 72nd minute goal, which served as his 25th career goal for the Black & Gold in Major League Soccer. Manneh took the ball toward the corner flag before spinning a cross toward the center of the 18-yard box and onto the side of Kamara's flicking left foot. The corner of the net-bound ball cemented Kamara's team-leading ninth goal of the 2017 campaign.
Higuain finished the night with a brace in the 88th minute, assisted by 87th minute substitute Adam Jahn, his first assist of the season. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen was awarded the secondary assist after booting the ball long toward Jahn's head at the top of the Montreal box. Jahn nodded the ball forward, where Higuain cooly finished the left-footed shot.
Crew SC had an 83 percent passing accuracy and netted all four shots on goal.
Crew SC next hosts MLS-expansion side Atlanta United FC on July 1 at MAPFRE Stadium. The match will celebrate Military Appreciation Night while featuring post-match fireworks in honor of the upcoming July 4 holiday.
The Black & Gold welcome German Bundesliga-side and DFB Pokal-finalist Eintracht Frankfurt to MAPFRE Stadium for an international friendly on Monday, July 17. The match is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m.
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistants: Nick Uranga, Corey Parker
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga
CLB — Federico Higauin 17'
MTL — Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Blerim Dzemaili, Hernán Bernardello) 19'
CLB — Kekuta Manneh (Ola Kamara) 70'
CLB — Ola Kamara (Kekuta Manneh) 72'
CLB — Federico Higuain (Adam Jahn, Zack Steffen) 88'
MTL —Kyle Fisher (caution) 6'
MTL — Hassoun Camara (caution) 34'
CLB — Justin Meram (caution) 45'+1'
CLB —Harrison Afful (caution) 78'
Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen; Harrison Afful, Josh Williams, Jonathan Mensah, Jukka Raitala; Wil Trapp ©, Artur; Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuain, Justin Meram (Kekuta Manneh 69’); Ola Kamara (Adam Jahn 87’)
Substitutes not used: Brad Stuver; Hector Jimenez, Alex Crognale, Dilly Duka, Mohammed Abu,
Montreal Impact: Evan Bush; Wandrille Lefevre, Laurent Ciman, Kyle Fisher; Hassoun Camara (Michael Salazar 76’), Hernan Bernardello, Marco Donadel (Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla 72’), Chris Duvall; Blerim Dzemaili; Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Matteo Mancosu 54'), Ignacio Piatti
Substitutes not used: Patrice Bernier, Maxime Crepeau, Calum Mallace, Dominic Oduro
PIPA KEEPS THEM COMING
With his goals in the match, Federico Higuain has now scored five goals in his past four matches and 47 goals in 140 regular-season appearances (135 starts) in MLS. Through 17 appearances (all starts) in the 2017 MLS regular-season, Higuain has scored eight goals and notched five assists. He is behind only Jeff Cunningham (64) and Brian McBride (62) in all-time goals scored for Crew SC.
ADAM ADDS THE ASSIST
After stepping onto the pitch in the 87th minute for forward Ola Kamara, Adam Jahn notched his first assist of the season to Higuain in the 88th minute. He has appeared in 13 matches and started in one for the Black & Gold this season.
OLA KAMARA NETS 25TH GOAL FOR CREW SC
With his goal in tonight's match, Ola Kamara tallied his 25th goal with the Black & Gold. Since joining the club in February of 2016, he has made 43 regular-season appearances (37 starts), registering 25 goals and five assists over that span. In 2016, Kamara led the team in goals with 16 tallies in 25 regular-season appearances (20 starts). Kamara is one of only four players currently on the Crew SC roster to have scored at least 25 goals for the club, joining Federico Higuain (47 goals), Justin Meram (32 goals) and Ethan Finlay (30 goals).
WILLIAMS WITH HIS 100TH START
Defender Josh Williams made his 100th MLS career start out of 112 MLS appearances in tonight's match. Williams played the entire 90 minutes for the Black & Gold, making his seventh start of the season this season.Throughout his time with Crew SC, Williams has completed an 80.71 percent passing accuracy and an overall 75 percent tackle success rate. The defender has also won 94 tackles for the Black & Gold.
MANNEH MADE IT HAPPEN
Kekuta Manneh saved the day with his 70th minute goal to put the Black & Gold on top. Manneh's first goal with Crew SC was followed by an assist just three minutes after entering the match for midfielder Justin Meram. Manneh has made six appearances and three starts for the Black & Gold since joining the club via trade in March.