Disney Pro Soccer Classic: Impact, Crew to meet in final
Here's all you need to know from Saturday's Matchday 3 quadrupleheader, which marks the close of the group stage. All eight teams will be back in action for the championship round of matches on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Montreal 1, D.C. United 1 (watch match replay here)
The Impact looked to be on their way to their third win in three matches at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic before an 85th minute searing drive from Canadian trialist Kyle Porter leveled the result for D.C. United.
Newcomer Andrea Pisanu put the Impact ahead with a 16th minute overhead kick on a bouncing, deflected cross delivered by fellow Serie A veteran Marco Di Vaio from the right side.
D.C. had a couple of long distance attempts from Perry Kitchen (35th minute) and Chris Pontius (69th minute) and they also appealed for a penalty kick in the first half when Dwayne De Rosario appeared to be taken down on a slalom run in the box.
Both sides fielded starting XI lineups with D.C. maintaining more of the overall possession and an expert Montreal side proving dangerous on the counter.
The game turned chippy toward the end of the first half and the tension carried over into the second half with three yellow cards dished out by the referee. A series of subsitutions on both sides defused the rising tempers.
Montreal secured the top spot in Group A and assured themselves a place in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic Championship Match on Feb. 23.
Philadelphia Union 3, Toronto FC 0 (watch match replay here)
Still smarting from a 4-0 whitewashing at the hands of the Crew in their last appearance, the Union responded with a 3-0 blanking of Toronto FC on Saturday.
TFC: Tough day at the office
The Union's Antoine Hoppenot scored the opener after eight minutes on a solo effort at the top of the box, beating Toronto 'keeper Joe Bendik with a low, left-footed daisycutter.
The French-born attacker then found Roger Torres in the left side of the box on the Union's second goal in the 40th minute. The diminutive Colombian used a cutback move to elude TFC centerback Gale Agbossoumonde before applying a classy, left-footed finish.
The Union didn't let up in the second half as right back Matt Kassel hammered home a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area, cleaning up on a broken Union corner kick play to make it 3-0.
Toronto's best chance came in the 80th minute when substitute forward Justin Braun unleashed a shot which Union goalkeeper Chase Harrison parried for a corner kick.
Among the other standouts for the Union were rookie left back Don Anding and Greek midfield trailist Pantelis Kafes. Meanwhile, an uninspired Toronto FC side received flashes from left winger Emery Welshman and target forward Taylor Morgan.
Orlando City 2, Columbus Crew 3 (watch match replay here)
The Group A-leading Crew started strong with a header goal by Augustin Viana after just three minutes, but the celebrations were muted after centerback Chad Marshall came out of the game following an apparent head injury suffered on the play. Rookie Drew Beckie, who also played in a morning scrimmage against Montreal, replaced Marshall.
The goal by Viana came off a header on a set-piece ball lofted into the box by Federico Higuain from the left side.
The first half was a hotly contested and physical affair with the home team showing a spirited response. Orlando City came close to equalizing on a shot by former MLS forward Long Tan, who saw his low, hard shot saved by Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum in the 22nd minute.
The match was back-and-forth after the break. Just minutes after Higuain missed on a 1-v-1 with the Orlando goalkeeper, former MLSer Jamie Watson equalized for Orlando in the 57th minute. He capitalized on a poor back pass by Crew centerback Glauber to make it 1-1.
Orlando came close to taking a shock lead on three separate chances, including a wide-open Dennis Chin header which struck the crossbar.
Then the two teams exchanged another two goals between the 74th and 79th minutes as Josh Williams fired home a Higuain corner kick only for Orlando's Brian Fekete to watch his shot carom off Gruenebaum and a Crew defender for the 2-2 tie.
A controversial late PK by the Crew, converted by Higuain after Fekete brought down Eddie Gaven, gave the 3-2 win to the Crew in the 89th minute.
Tampa Bay Rowdies 0, Sporting Kansas City 1 (watch match replay here)
It was one-way traffic in Saturday's quadrupleheader finale, but Sporting Kansas City had to wait until the 76th minute to finally break through against the NASL's Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Mechak Jerome found Graham Zusi and the USMNT member danced around a defender and fired home the winner from the top of the box as Tampa Bay finally succumbed to the overwhelming pressure by Sporting KC.
However, the MLS side struggled to create enough chances with Zusi's 15th-minute attempt on goal proving the best look of the match. However, Tampa 'keeper Patrick Fontein was up to the task.
And when Tampa mounted their only series attack in the 85th minute through Takuya Yamada, MLS Defender of the Year Matt Besler was there to snuff out the danger and see out the result.
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS
1. Columbus Crew, 9pts (3GP)
2. Philadelphia Union, 4pts (3GP)
3. Toronto FC, 3pts (3GP)
4. Orlando City, 1pt (3GP)
1. Montreal Impact, 7pts (3GP)
2. Sporting Kansas City, 6pts (3GP)
3. D.C. United, 4pts (3GP)
4. Tampa Bay Rowdies, 0pts (3GP)