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Columbus Crew SC 0, Montreal Impact 0 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

Columbus Crew SC returned to action following the Copa America Centenario break without their playmaker, Federico Higuain, and with striker Ola Kamara forced by a balky hamstring to come off the bench as the Black-and-Gold entertained the Montreal Impact, missing Ignacio Piatti at MAPFRE Stadium Saturday.

Missing playmakers meant little action and no goals, as the teams played to a hard-fought 0-0 draw.

The last time the teams played one another May 7, the game ended in a 4-4 draw, and Higuain and Kei Kamara argued over who would take a penalty kick, which would ultimately lead to Kamara being traded a few days later to New England Revolution. This game bore little resemblance to that. Columbus keeper Steve Clark had three saves, all in the first half, and Montreal's Evan Bush had just one.

Three Things

1. INAUSPICIOUS STARTWith playmaker Federico Higuain out 5-7 weeks following hernia surgery, Columbus must find a replacement No. 10 for the duration of his absence. Mohammed Saeid got the assignment against Montreal and was, frankly, unremarkable in his first game in the role. Of course, he didn't have Ola Kamara up front for most of the game, so that certainly has to be taken into account, but if Crew SC are to survive the loss of Higuain, Saeid is going to have to produce.

2. THE SHOTS HAVE TO BE ON TARGET: Crew FC was credited with 12 shots taken in the game. Only one forced a save from Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush. That's not very efficient. Some of the shots didn't miss by much, but still, you can't score without hitting the target.
 
3. TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT, MAYBE: In the 55th minute, Justin Meram took a free kick just outside the penalty area and blasted it right into the middle of the wall. Didier Drogba was hit by the shot and appeared to hurt his hand on the play. The referee ruled the wall had moved early, and so he ordered the kick be re-taken, which it was, after a short delay while Drogba was attended to and left the game momentarily. So what did Meram do with the do-over? He blasted it back into the middle of the wall again.

Box Score

Next Up

  • CLB: Saturday, June 25 vs. New York Red Bulls (7:30 pm ET; MLS LIVE)
  • MTL: Saturday, June 25 vs. Sporting Kansas City (7:30 pm ET; MLS LIVE)
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