It was home sweet home for the Montreal Impact in Week 7 after they defeated Eastern Conference leaders Columbus Crew SC 1-0 in their first home match of the season at Stade Saputo. And they did it without superstar Ignacio Piatti, who sat out his fourth straight match due to a knee injury.
Offseason acquisition Harry Novillo scored his first MLS goal 10 minutes into the second half and it held up as the game-winner. Montreal forward Maxi Urruti pressured and dispossessed Crew center back Jonathan Mensah, laying the ball off to Novillo, who drove the ball past goalkeeper Zack Steffen from the top of the box.
Before and after that goal, Crew SC enjoyed the bulk of the possession and successfully passed their way into the Impact penalty area on several occasions, but Impact defenders or goalkeeper Evan Bush were up to the task every time, including on a 70th minute goal-line clearance by Daniel Lovitz off the crossbar.
After conceding seven goals to Sporting Kansas City in a Week 5 loss, Montreal have recorded three straight shutouts, all in the span of the last eight days. The Impact (3W-2L-2D, 11 points) now find themselves in the upper echelons of the East, just two points behind Crew SC (4W-2L-1D, 13 points).
- 55' – MTL – Harry Novillo (Maxi Urruti) | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: For anyone who wrote off Montreal after that 7-1 loss in Kansas City in Week 5, the Impact sent a clear message over the last week with two road shutout draws and a clean-sheet win over the top team in the East. And they did it the Montreal way -- disciplined shape and dangerous transition play -- all without Ignacio Piatti.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Almost 15 minutes after Montreal's goal, Crew SC had their biggest opportunity to equalize:
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Harry Novillo got the goal and was dangerous on a couple of other shots, but the nod goes to Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush, who made five saves and had a key punch out in the sequence above. That's three consecutive shutouts for Bush in the span of a week.
- MTL: Sat., April 20 at Philadelphia Union (1 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; TSN & TVAS in Canada)
- CLB: Sat., April 20 vs. Portland Timbers (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; DAZN in Canada)