The Montreal Impact cooled off red-hot Columbus Crew SC with two quick first-half strikes, winning 3-0 at Saputo Stadium on Saturday night.
Goals from Dominic Oduro and Marco Donadel in the game’s first eight minutes halted Montreal’s three-game winless run and handed Columbus their first MLS loss in more than a month. Oduro added his second of the game with 10 minutes remaining.
With the win, Montreal (6-7-3, 21pts) climbed one spot into eighth place in the Eastern Conference, while Crew SC (6-7-6, 24pts) slipped into a tie for third.
The home side, criticized for not putting away golden opportunities last week against New York City FC, wasted no time finding the back of the net against Columbus.
Oduro opened the scoring fives minutes in, beating his former club for the first time since being traded from Columbus last year.
Montreal’s Ignacio Piatti got the play going in midfield, as the Argentine fought off several tugs on the arm by Mohammed Saeid before feeding Oduro in the box. Crew SC defender Emanuel Pogatetz misplayed the pass and mistimed his slide tackle, which gave Oduro space to sidestep goalkeeper Steve Clark for the easy goal.
Three minutes later, Donadel got the 15,304 fans at Saputo Stadium on their feet again with a highlight-reel goal. Following a short corner kick play, the 32-year-old midfielder rifled a shot from 30 yards out into the top corner of the net, well out of reach of the diving Clark.
After conceding twice, Crew SC's backline settled down, limiting Montreal’s chances for the rest of the first half. The Impact took their foot off the accelerator, but that’s when Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush had to get to work.
Bush enjoyed a quiet first half, but he was busy after the break, including a diving 59th minute save that kept midfielder Tony Tchani off the board. Two minutes later, Justin Meram rattled Bush’s crossbar.
The Impact made their intention to hold on to the two-goal lead very clear by substituting striker Jack McInerney for defender Eric Miller in the 71st minute, and Crew SC's hopes for a comeback were quashed nine minutes later when Oduro cashed in his second of the game by pouncing on a spilled ball by Clark in front of goal.
Both teams play their next games on the road. Crew SC travel to Chicago to take on the Fire on Wednesday (8:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE), while Montreal face Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park next Saturday (8:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).