The Columbus Crew were bailed out in stoppage time as a late penalty handed them their second win to start the 2018 season.
Gregg Berhalter’s Crew used a penalty from Gyasi Zardes in the 94th minute to beat Montreal 3-2 on Saturday.
The Crew were far from deserving of the result, as the Impact controlled the contest for throughout the second half, as they made up a two-goal deficit.
Federico Higuain and Zardes scored a goal each in the first 15 minutes for the home side, with Higuain’s 12th-minute opener from the spot being his 50th-career MLS goal.
Zardes scored his second goal in as many weeks after Pedro Santos’ cross from the right wing was deflected off the crossbar by Artur. The U.S. Men’s National Team forward was in the right position to pounce and give the Crew a two-goal advantage.
The crossbar wasn’t as kind to the Impact, as they struck it twice, with the first occurrence coming in the eighth minute off the boot of Jeisson Vargas.
The second connection with the upright came in the 76th minute, when Matteo Mancosu failed to equalize against a Crew defense that was luckluster at best in the second half.
Ignacio Piatti put the Impact back in the game after a steady bout of pressure with a 59th-minute strike off a Crew turnover.
With time winding down and luck appearing to not be on their side, the Impact leveled the contest through a brilliant blast from Raheem Edwards, who connected with a beautiful cross from the left wing sent in by Daniel Lovitz.
Edwards transitioned out of the hero role fast, as he clipped Luis Argulo from behind in the penalty box in stoppage time.
Zardes stepped up to the spot and knocked home the game-winning goal past Evan Bush to hand the Crew their best start since 2014.
The Crew will try to make it three wins in a row to start 2018 against Philadelphia in Week 3, while Montreal hosts Toronto FC in its home opener.
Man of the Match
Gyasi Zardes found himself in the right position on his 15th-minute goal and stepped up to the penalty spot full of confidence to finish off his two-goal performance and the victory.
Moment of the Match
Raheem Edwards’ trip of Luis Argulo wasn’t much, but it was enough to force referee Chris Penso to whistle for a penalty.
Match to Forget
Other than his shot off the crossbar in the second half, Matteo Mancosu was ineffective up top as the Impact came back.