First-place Impact welcome Crew to Stade Saputo

2:57 PM, Sep 13, 2013   |    comments
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Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - The Montreal Impact will look to maintain their position at the top of the Eastern Conference table on Saturday when the club welcomes the Columbus Crew to the Stade Saputo.

Montreal enters the weekend level with Sporting Kansas City and Red Bull New York atop the East on 45 points apiece. All three clubs are coming off of wins to keep the race for first place very tight.

After playing to a scoreless draw against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Aug. 31, the Impact faced a tough test at Gillette Stadium, an always- difficult venue for visitors to come away with a share of the spoils.

But Marco Schallibaum's men produced a strong account of themselves, earning a 4-2 victory to keep pace in the East.

"Every game is very difficult," Schallibaum said. "I think on the road, also. We show this face that we can win on the road. We won in Seattle, we won in Portland and in Kansas City. Because it is a good team, New England, with 10 players, they make nice things, they put pressure. Again it was very important to get these three points."

Columbus has not fared quite as well on the road as the club fell in a disappointing 3-0 loss to Kansas City at Sporting park on Saturday.

It was the second match of Brian Bliss' spell as interim head coach of the Crew, but he was unable to build upon a 2-0 defeat of the Houston Dynamo in his first outing.

Columbus fell behind early to Sporting, leaving the visitors with virtually no way back in such a tough environment.

"It is tough to play from behind early, the first goal was close into the first ten minutes and the second was in the 28th minute," Bliss said after the match. "It is very difficult to come from behind against a quality squad at their home field, but overall I think tactically we were set up pretty well to do what we had set out to do. We did have a mental lapse in the short corner, which caused the PK, and from there it was an uphill battle."

Saturday's tilt will be the third and final meeting between Columbus and Montreal this season, and the Crew can take solace from having the superior record in contests between the two sides.

Columbus is 3-1-1 all-time against Montreal, but all three of the club's wins have come at Crew Stadium. The two sides played to a 1-1 draw when they met at the Stade Saputo earlier this season.

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