Megan Scribner, ColumbusCrewSC.com
Columbus Crew SC fell 3-0 to the Montreal Impact on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Stade Saputo in a potential playoff-clinching match for the Black & Gold (13-10-9, 48 pts.), as a win or draw would have sealed a top-six regular-season finish for Crew SC.
Columbus now sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and two points back of fourth-place Philadelphia following the Union’s 5-1 win over Minnesota United FC on Saturday.
The first half saw no shortage of action, with each side level in possession. Columbus recorded four shots on goal in the first half but could not get past Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush. A handball in the box on defender Josh Williams gave the Impact an opportunity from the penalty spot, as Saphir Taider converted on the game-winning goal in the 32nd minute.
Just four minutes later, Columbus’ Gyasi Zardes found himself in front of the net and headed a ball towards Bush for a potential equalizer but was ultimately denied. Montreal then doubled their lead in the 45th minute.
In the 59th minute, Montreal struck again, bringing the score to 3-0. The next-best chance for Columbus came in the 81st minute from midfielder Mike Grella, who placed his strike high, making Montreal’s Bush reach for the save.
Columbus tallied an additional five shots on target in the second half. Despite the result, Columbus out-shot Montreal 14 to 13 and out-possessed the Impact, 55 percent to 45 percent. Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen recorded six saves on the day.
Next, Crew SC travels to Orlando City SC on Sunday, October 21 at 3 p.m. ET before returning home for the final match of the 2018 MLS regular season, as the Black & Gold host Minnesota United FC on Sunday, October 28 in a 4:30 p.m. kick off at MAPFRE Stadium.
Jonathan Mensah made his 50th MLS regular-season start in today’s match against the Montreal Impact. Today, the defender took two shots (both on target). This season, Mensah has made 26 regular-season appearances (25 starts) and scored on goal. Since joining Crew SC in 2017, Mensah has made 52 regular-season appearances, scoring three goals and providing one assist.
Federico Higuain took a team-high three shots in today’s game against the Montreal Impact. He also led the team in corner kicks (two) and had one shot on target. This season, Higuain has made 28 MLS regular-season appearances (25 starts), scoring five goals and eight assists. Since making his MLS debut for Crew SC in 2012, the Argentine has made 177 regular-season appearances (169 starts), tallying 54 goals and 58 assists. In doing so, Higuain became the 18th player in MLS history to reach the 50-50 plateau.
Zack Steffen made six saves in tonight’s match against the Montreal Impact, tying a season-high. His six stops match his performance against the New England Revolution on May 19. This season, Steffen has made 27 regular-season appearances (all starts), recording 61 saves, 11 wins and 10 shutouts. Since making his MLS debut for Crew SC in 2017, Steffen has made 61 regular-season appearances (all starts), recording 159 saves, 27 wins and 19 shutouts.
With today’s result, Crew SC’s record on the season moves to 13-10-9. Next up, Crew SC will take on Orlando City SC at Orlando City Stadium on Sunday, October 21 at 3:00 p.m. ET