Montreal Impact have little time to rest before facing Columbus Crew in MLS semifinals

Montreal Impact have little time to rest before facing Columbus Crew in MLS semifinals

MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact have only three days to rest and prepare for the Columbus Crew.

The Impact, who advanced to the MLS Eastern Conference semifinals with a 3-0 knockout round win over Toronto FC on Thursday night, will play host to Columbus on Sunday in the first leg of a two-game total goals series. It was the first playoff win by a Canadian-based club.

Columbus used a late surge to finish second in the conference while Montreal was third. Impact coach Mauro Biello called them the “best passing team in the league.”

But Montreal beat the Crew in both of their meetings this season — 2-1 in Columbus on June 6 and 3-0 in Montreal on July 11, when Dominic Oduro had a pair of goals and Marco Donadel got the other.

Midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker said the Impact can be confident.

“They’re a good team,” he said. “They like to play football and I think that will serve us well.

“We’re a footballing team. They’re not as physical or as direct (as other teams). They’re patient at keeping and moving the ball. It’s going to have to be a very disciplined game again, shape-wise, but I think it suits us. We played great football today.”

The Impact have a training session scheduled for Friday but those who played against TFC will likely be given a rest.

Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press

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