Columbus wins to end Montreal playoff hopes

Darlington Nagbe's go-ahead goal in the 50th minute helped the host Columbus Crew to a 2-1 victory over CF Montreal on Saturday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.

With the victory, the Crew (16-9-9, 57 points) clinched third place in the Eastern Conference and will have home-field advantage for a best-of-three first-round playoff series against Atlanta United beginning Oct. 28.

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With the loss, Montreal (12-17-5, 41 points) finished 10th in the East, two points out of the ninth and final playoff spot.

Sunusi Ibrahim put Montreal up 1-0 in the seventh minute. Cucho Hernandez tied it 10 minutes later before Nagbe scored the decisive goal.

The Crew finished 12-1-4 at home, while Montreal was 2-13-2 in away matches. CF Montreal were one of eight MLS teams with fewer than three road wins.

Montreal stretched the defense to create seams that it exploited to take the lead. Nathan Saliba sent Zachary Brault-Guillard down the right flank for him to whip a cross to the far post, where Ibrahim slotted his third goal of the season.

The Crew were building toward the equalizer and finally got it when Steven Moreira pushed the ball a few yards to the right foot of Hernandez, and the latter powered a shot to the upper right corner for goal No. 16 of the season.

Hernandez has six goals in his past six matches, including three in 70 minutes during a 3-0 win over Chicago on Sept. 20.

Nagbe made it 2-1 with another clinical buildup from the backline, allowing Malte Amundsen to find an unmarked Nagbe in the arc. Nagbe had time to tee the ball and send a low strike past goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois.

Sirois made a great save on a Hernandez break in the 73rd minute, coming off his line to challenge the shot to keep the deficit at one.