The Columbus Crew boosted their Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoff hopes on Saturday night, as Gyasi Zardes scored twice in a 2-1 win over CF Montréal, who failed to pull away in the Eastern Conference standings.

Crew fans rejoiced as their team notched all three points at Lower.com Field, giving them momentum in their hunt for a playoff spot and additional silverware. The reigning MLS Cup champions will face off against Liga MX's Cruz Azul in the Campeones Cup on Wednesday night.

Zardes stole a goal away from a slow first half for the Crew at the 44th minute. The US men's national team forward leaped to volley a cross from Derrick Etienne past James Pantemis, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead.

Zardes then took it upon himself to give Columbus a 2-0 lead in the 62nd minute after Mathieu Choiniere gave the ball away, creating a Crew counter-attack. Montréal's defense dropped off and Zardes tried his luck, sending a rocket to the far post for his seventh goal of the year.

Looking to get back into the game, Montréal took advantage of a Crew giveaway at the 74th minute with a chance on goal. Matko Mijevic, who made his MLS debut off the bench, struck a venomous shot. Playing against his former club for the very first time, goalkeeper Evan Bush made a diving save to deny Miljevic's second goal in all competitions for his new club.

Montréal robbed Bush of his clean sheet in second-half stoppage time. Lassi Lappalainen's shot struck the post but poor defending from Columbus allowed for Romell Quioto to bundle home a 92nd-minute goal.

Advertising

Goals

  • 44' – CLB – Gyasi Zardes | WATCH
  • 62' – CLB – Gyasi Zardes | WATCH
  • 90'+2' – MTL – Romell Quioto | WATCH

Three things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The Columbus Crew grabbed an essential win over CF Montréal in what was a six-point game for both clubs. Caleb Porter’s squad will try to carry this momentum forward into a crucial week with the Campeones Cup on Wednesday night and a road game against the Philadelphia Union on Sunday afternoon. CF Montréal could have pulled apart from those fighting to stay above the East's red line and were stumped by the Crew. Instead of winning four across all competitions, they'll head into a complicated midweek affair with the New England Revolution.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Following a Montréal giveaway, Gyasi Zardes lasered home a golazo that stood as the game-winner.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Gyasi Zardes was at the right places at the right times for Columbus, netting his third brace of the year across all competitions.

Next up

  • CLB: Wednesday, September 29 vs. Cruz Azul | 8 pm ET (ESPN2, Univision, TUDN) | Campeones Cup
  • MTL: Wednesday, September 29 vs. New England Revolution | 7:30 pm ET (TVA Sports, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising