A first-minute goal by Allan Cruz was all FC Cincinnati needed to beat the Montreal Impact, 1-0, at Stade Saputo on Saturday evening — dampening the Impact's playoff hopes in the process. It was FC Cincy's first win since July 13 and head coach Ron Jans' first win for the team.
The Impact, meanwhile, are now three points behind 7th-place New England with only three matches remaining compared to the Revs' four.
The Orange & Blue roared out the gate, scoring inside of 30 seconds when Cruz pounced on a deflected Joe Gyau pass and hammered it into goal to shock the home crowd. The Impact had their chances to get back into it, with Ignacio Piatti coming closest in his first start since Aug. 3 and first MLS action since Aug. 10, but they were unable to find an equalizer before the break.
The second half included some more near-misses for the Impact, including an Orji Okwonkwo shot in the 64th minute that he pulled just wide of the target. Darren Mattocks provided the biggest threat for FC Cincinnati offensively, heading just wide in the 49th minute and appearing in dangerous spots throughout the half.
Ultimately, FC Cincinnati's defense held tough, determined not to make the ignoble history of allowing the most goals in an MLS season.
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- 1' – CIN – Allan Cruz | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Montreal have the Galaxy, Atlanta, and the Red Bulls left on their schedule, and let a prime opportunity for getting three points slip their grasp. Only one of their 17 shots was on target; if they do miss the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs, that stat in this match will be one they look back on and rue. FC Cincy gave their not-so-new-anymore coach his first win, stopping a nine-match winless streak where they got a single draw and eight losses.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: If you were getting snacks and didn't settle in for opening kickoff, you missed it. Cruz broke his own record for FCC's fastest goal in a match; he set it July 13 with a goal just 45 seconds into their match with the Chicago Fire.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Cruz had to leave the match in the second half with an apparent head injury, but did enough to earn the honors.