Zardes scores twice as Columbus Crew defeat CF Montreal

Columbus Crew forward Gyasi Zerdes (11) competes for a ball with CF Montreal defender Rudy Camacho (4) during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (Barbara J. Perenic/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Gyasi Zardes scored twice and the Columbus Crew kept its playoff hopes alive by defeating Montreal 2-1 on Saturday night.

The Crew (9-11-7) moved into ninth place in the Eastern Conference, a point behind Atlanta for the final berth. Montreal (10-9-7) remains in sixth.

Zardes' initial goal, the 50th of his career with the Crew, came in the 44th minute. He ran past the defense to redirect a cross from Derrick Etienne.

It marked the first time Columbus had a first-half lead since July 17 and only their fifth lead at the break this season.

The second goal, a left-footed rocket from the top of the circle into the upper left corner in the 62nd minute, was the first time the Crew was up by a pair since that same July game. Zardes now has 85 goals in his MLS career.

Evan Bush, in just his third game, made four saves against the team he was with for nine seasons but lost his bid for a shutout in extra time when Montreal put a shot off the post and the loose ball dinged around until Romell Quioto nudged it in.

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