On a sunny chilly Sunday afternoon, 16,584 fans made it to Stade Saputo to witness what was a game of ups and downs. Even if the Montreal Impact had more of the possession (60%), the Columbus Crew had their say with the most dangerous chances of the game. The good news is that the Impact stay on top of the Eastern Conference with the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City closing in.
Both goals scored should be nominated in the MLSSoccer.com Goal Of The Week ballot.
At the 68th minute, Marco Di Vaio gets a redirected ball from Sanna Nyassi as the Gambian winger came in as a substitute a minute earlier. The Italian striker blasted a low precise shot just inside the right post of Andy Gruenebaum. The Crew goalkeeper could not do much on the shot but was able to track it as he attempted a save.
Dominic Oduro , who scored the equalizer against the Union, did not want to leave Di Vaio alone in the limelight. Four minutes later, the Ghanean forward scored with a half-volley that just went under the bar, out of the reach of Troy Perkins. The play that brought the goal did not seem dangerous at first. The Impact was unlucky as Oduro got the ball off a Bernier deflection. Winning the challenge against Hassoun Camara, Oduro controlled the ball and delivered that excellent volley with his left foot.
The beginning of the game was at a slower pace as both teams were looking to keep things simple. Long range solutions like Ben Spea's 30-yard shot made Troy Perkins punch the ball out for a corner kick. Taking advantage of a new-look Impact defense, Federico Higuain had a breakaway a few minutes before half-time. He found himself facing Troy Perkins but saw his shot blocked by the excellent Ohio native, who played his best game as a Montreal Impact.
Andy Gruenebaum was also up to the challenge when he stopped Marco Di Vaio's shot at the 62nd minute after a nice combination between Justin Mapp and Andres Romero. He also relied on Sanna Nyassi's miss from a Mapp cross. The Gambian attempted a one-timer with his left foot that went high. From the angle and distance, Gruenebaum seemed beaten on the play.
Even after a 1-1 tie, Montreal is still top dog in the Eastern Conference with a 1-point lead over the Houston Dynamo. The Impact will enjoy ( or not depending on whom you ask) another bye week and will get ready for a heavy schedule.