Johan Venegas breaks tie in 77th, Impact beat Crew 2-1 in first leg of Eastern semifinal

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MONTREAL — Substitute Johan Venegas broke a tie in the 77th minute to help the Montreal Impact beat the Columbus Crew 2-1 on Sunday night in the opening leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal.

Only 4 minutes after Venegas replaced Patrice Bernier, the Costa Rican won a battle for the ball with Michael Parkhurst and went in on a 2-on-1 with Montreal star Didier Drogba. Venegas elected to shoot and picked the far corner for the winner.

The second leg of the two-game, total-goals series is next Sunday in Columbus.

Bernier also scored for Montreal, coming off a 3-0 home victory over Toronto FC in a knockout game Thursday night.

Federico Higuain opened the scoring for the Crew in the 33rd minute. Bernier tied it in the 37th on a header off Marco Donadel's corner kick.

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