MONTREAL – A week after a humiliating 5-0 loss to playoff line chasers D.C. United, the Montreal Impact showed that if they're going to be overtaken for the Eastern Conference's final seed, it'll take a photo finish.
Facing Columbus Crew SC, who entered the match seeded fourth in the East, Montreal routed their opponents behind goals from Ignacio Piatti, Alejandro Silva and Saphir Taider in a 3-0 rout at Stade Saputo.
“I told the players this week that I expected each and every one of them to be a leader. We can’t all be the same type of leader throughout the season,” said head coach Remi Garde. “It is true that last week we were missing the leaders that we usually have but in these cases others can rise. I think that beyond that the team’s response was excellent in terms of solidarity.”
Goalkeeper Evan Bush agreed, praising the team effort.
“It’s the time of year where every single guy is going to have to make a difference,” Bush said. “We got good performances in different moments from pretty much every single guy on the field.”
Garde indicated Impact star Piatti had been limited by injury during the week's training, and his appearance was in doubt on gameday.
“To be honest, when we started the warmup I was a little bit anxious because I didn’t see him too much on the field this week,” Garde said. “He came back and in one word he said: ‘One hundred percent,’ and of course his contribution tonight was huge. Not only did he score, but when you have Nacho on the field like he was playing tonight it’s a big boost for the team.”
The Impact ended the game five points up on D.C., who still hold three games in hand as they head into Sunday's match against Chicago (1 pm ET | ESPN, TSN – Full TV & streaming info). Until D.C. actually grab the points, Montreal control their fate.
“I can only wait for now,” Garde said. “I can’t tell you that I won't be nervous [about the D.C. results] – but maybe a bit less than when my team plays.”