COLUMBUS, Ohio - Thanks to a Bernardo Anor brace, the Columbus Crew found their first win in eight games by a 2-1 scoreline against the Montreal Impact on Saturday.
Anor's pair of thunderous strikes were his first goals since the brace he notched in the team's 2014 home opener March 22, and gave the Crew the offensive spark that they have been searching for all season.
As has been their style for most of the season, the Crew dominated possession in the first half but generated very little offense. Despite enjoying time on the ball in the Montreal half, Columbus settled for long shots and failed crosses, and it seemed that their offensive woes would continue.
Parkhurst's errant back pass allowed Justin Mapp to find an open Di Vaio on the break. The Italian gathered the ball, beat Crew defender Giancarlo Gonzalez and slotted a shot past the diving Steve Clark to open the scoring.
At the half, Columbus seemed defeated as they faced their eighth winless outing in a row. But Anor changed that with authority, striking a wonderful ball to draw the club even in the 56th minute.
Tony Tchani found Anor just outside the box and the Venezuelan connected with a fierce swing of his left foot, throttling the shot past Bush, who never had a chance.
The strike woke up a quiet Crew Stadium sellout crowd, and gave the home side an obvious burst of energy.
But Montreal took the game back to Columbus, throwing players forward and getting consistent chances in the moments following the Anor goal.
The Impact had plenty of opportunities to seize the lead back, but the Crew's stalwart keeper Clark robbed Montreal time and again, keeping his team level and bellowing at them to stay strong.
Clark's motivation worked, and in the 75th minute Anor topped his first goal with his second.
Anor gathered the ball near midfield, turned toward the Montreal goal and glanced upfield. After a couple of careful touches, the lefty unleashed a furious strike with his right foot that bent away from Bush and into the net as the helpless 'keeper dove to his right.
The strike marked the first multi-goal game for the Crew since their 3-2 loss to Toronto six matches ago, highlighting their offensive ineptitude.
The win gives Columbus (5-7-8) a much-needed win, their first in league play since May 24, while the Impact (3-10-5) drop even further behind the rest of the East.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Bernardo Anor||When he scores, good things happen for the Crew, and two fantastic goals delivered the points to a win-starved home side|
|2||Steve Clark||Anor will get the headlines, but Clark was really influential in the second half, coming up with three key saves to preserve the win|
|3||Marco Di Vaio||Is clearly struggling from a lack of quality service, but hit a vintage goal in the first half and worked hard for a second all night|