Oct 6, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Impact midfielder Alejandro Silva (9) (left) celebrates his goal against Columbus Crew with teammates during the first half at Stade Saputo. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
With two games remaining in the regular season, the Impact (13-15-4) extended their lead to five points above the playoff line ahead of D.C. United’s home match against the Chicago Fire Sunday afternoon, while Columbus (13-10-9) squandered an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth.
Saphir Taïder put the Impact in front from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute, putting his attempt to the left of Zack Steffen, who dived the other way. Referee Alan Kelly pointed to the spot following Video Review, where it was determined Josh Williams handled an Alejandro Silva cross.
Silva made it 2-0 one minute before halftime on his fifth goal of the season and fourth in the last eight games. Silva took a pass from Taïder, spun and exploded toward goal, slotting a low shot inside the left post from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Taïder picked up his second assist in the 59th minute on Ignacio Piatti’s 14th goal of the season to give Montreal a 3-0 lead. On a counter following a Crew SC corner kick, Piatti worked his way into the left edge of the box and took a touch outside after cutting inside to create space from Harrison Afful before putting his shot through Williams’ legs and inside the far post.
A week after conceding five goals, four after halftime in a 5-0 loss at D.C. United, Evan Bush was solid for the Impact, making nine saves to secure his ninth clean sheet of the season. He pounced off his line to make himself big and deny Afful in the 14th minute. He palmed away an open Gyasi Zardes header in the 36th minute and parried away a late chance by substitute Mike Grella for his best save of the second half.
The Impact return to play on Oct. 21, hosting Toronto FC at Stade Saputo, while the Crew will try again to book their spot in the MLS Cup playoffs when they play at eliminated Orlando City SC on Oct. 21. Both matches kick off at 3 p.m.