Impact loses 4-1 in Columbus

Canadian Championship final second leg to be played this Tuesday in Toronto

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Playing a third game in eight days, the Montreal Impact lost 4-1 against Columbus Crew SC, on Saturday evening at MAPFRE Stadium. Anthony Jackson-Hamel got on the score sheet for the visitors, while Federico Higuaín, with a brace, Kekuta Manneh and Ola Kamara led the hosts to the three points.


“We did a mistake on the second goal and the game flipped,” said Montreal Impact head coach Mauro Biello. “We worked hard in the beginning of the second half, but we suffered due to fatigue. It was a tough night, with three goals allowed in the last 20 minutes due to little errors. We now have to regroup and prepare for the final in Toronto on Tuesday night.”


Teams exchange goals in first half

After a quarter-hour of play, taking advantage of a free kick just outside the Montreal box, Higuaín gave a lead to the Crew SC, as the wall deflected the flight of the ball.


A few instants later, the Impact equalized. Hernán Bernardello, coming back in the starting lineup, intercepted Higuaín’s pass in the attacking third. The Argentine midfielder gave the ball immediately to Blerim Dzemaili, who ran at the Crew defense and found Anthony Jackson-Hamel, running on the right side. The striker from Québec City finished the action with a low, right-footed shot.


Second half goes locals’ way

The Impact dominated the first 15 minutes of the second half, with scoring opportunities for Wandrille Lefèvre, created by Nacho Piatti, and for Matteo Mancosu, set up by Dzemaili, but both Montreal players were not able to find the back of the net.


The game flipped in the 70th minute when Higuaín, in the centre circle, lobbed a pass towards Kekuta Manneh. The ball got to Ola Kamara’s feet, who flicked it for Manneh. The Gambian, alone at the penalty spot, brought the hosts back ahead.

“The second goal was a bit the end for us, as we did not react thereafter,” mentioned Blerim Dzemaili. “We were in control, but we did not do well at the end of the game. It is not about the system of play, it’s us on the field who need to execute.”

Two minutes later, Manneh found space on the left flank and crossed for Kamara, who volleyed the ball with his left boot to the left of Evan Bush and in the goal.

Crew SC added an insurance goal in the 88th minute, once again through Higuaín. Adam Jahn won an aerial duel and found the Argentine number 10 in the box. His finish with the left foot gave no chance to Bush.

Upcoming games

The Impact will set course for BMO Field for the Canadian Championship final second leg, this Tuesday at 7:30pm (RDS, TSN, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690). Then, the Bleu-blanc-noir comes back home at Stade Saputo to face D.C. United in MLS regular season action, on Saturday, July 1, at 7pm (TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690).

MTL – GK-Evan Bush; D-Chris Duvall, Kyle Fisher, Laurent Ciman, Wandrille Lefèvre, Hassoun Camara (Michael Salazar 76’); M-Marco Donadel (Ballou Tabla 72’), Blerim Dzemaili, Hernan Bernardello, F-Ignacio Piatti, Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Matteo Mancosu 54’)

Subs not used : Maxime Crépeau, Patrice Bernier, Dominic Oduro, Calum Mallace

CLB – GK-Zach Steffen; D-Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams, Jukka Raitala; M-Artur, Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuaín, Justin Meram (Kekuta Manneh 69’), Wil Trapp; F-Ola Kamara (Adam Jahn 87’)

Subs not used : Brad Stuver, Alex Crognale, Dilly Duka, Hector Jimenez, Mohammed Abu

CLB – Higuaín 17’
MTL – Jackson-Hamel (Dzemaili, Bernardello) 19’
CLB – Manneh (Kamara) 70’
CLB – Kamara (Manneh) 72’
CLB – Higuaín (Jahn, Williams) 88’

MTL – Fisher 16’
MTL – Camara 34’
CLB – Meram 45’ + 1’
CLB – Afful 78’