Harry Novillo's goal lifts Montreal Impact over Columbus Crew
Harry Novillo scored early in the second half and Evan Bush made five saves for his third straight shutout when Montreal defeated Columbus Crew SC 1-0 in the Impact’s home opener at Stade Saputo on Saturday.
Bush has not allowed a goal in 282 minutes since the 78th minute of a 7-1 loss at Sporting Kansas City on March 30.
The Impact (3-2-2, 11 points) conceded several scoring chances but waited for an opportunity to strike and they did in the 55th minute.
Max Urruti stripped the ball from defender Jonathan Mensah and dribbled into the box. He laid the ball back to Novillo for a low drive from 16 yards.
His goal ended a trio of streaks. It was the Impact’s first goal in 236 minutes and the first conceded by the Crew (4-2-1, 13 points) in 277 minutes. Also, Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen had his personal shutout streak snapped at 499 minutes. He finished with six saves.
The Crew had a chance to equalize in the 70th minute but a corner kick by Federico Higuain was deflected to the underside of the crossbar and was cleared.
The match was the latest home opener for the Impact, which played their first match at Olympic Stadium in their previous seven MLS seasons. Montreal had a 3-1-3 record under the dome in those openers.
Columbus had the better of the play in the first half against Montreal, which played its fourth straight match without injured star midfielder Ignacio Piatti.
Each team has six shot attempts in the first 45 minutes. Montreal finished with a 13-11 edge.
Both teams next play April 20 when the Crew are home to Portland in the first meeting of Columbus coach Caleb Porter against his former team while Montreal plays at Philadelphia.