MONTREAL – For a few hours at least, the Montreal Impact will top the Eastern Conference.
The Houston Dynamo conceded more than three goals in a game for the first time this season as Marco Di Vaio, Felipe, Jeb Brovsky and Andrea Pisanu gave the Impact a resounding 5-0 win on Saturday night at Stade Saputo.
With 41 points, Montreal have reclaimed top spot in the East, two points ahead of Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls – though the latter team plays on Sunday at Chivas USA. Houston remain fifth in the East with 36 points.
Both teams squandered clear chances to open the scoring in the opening half hour, but while the misses deflated the Dynamo, they only seemed to wake Montreal up. Their first came in the 35th minute when Justin Mapp fed Di Vaio, who danced around a defender before rocketing his 14th goal of the season to the upper 90.
Stade Saputo had barely stopped celebrating when Felipe scored his fifth of the season two minutes later. Mapp collected from a dispossessed Di Vaio, then lofted a cross for Felipe who took a touch, then hit an unsaveable shot to the back post after the Dynamo defense were slow to close him down.
Both goalkeepers made big saves in the early stages of the second half, but Tally Hall was powerless on Montreal’s third. Hernan Bernardello hit an in-swinging corner which Houston’s Adam Moffat got a head on, but couldn’t clear, instead setting up an onrushing Brovsky who bundled home from two feet out.
A three-goal cushion was always going to play in Montreal’s counterattacking hands, and so it proved in the 70th minute as well as in stoppage time. First, Patrice Bernier and Di Vaio both beat the offside trap on a Felipe through pass, and Bernier laid the ball off for the striker who coolly completed his brace to go top of the Golden Boot race. Pisanu then poked a fifth goal in for good measure at the very end, on a one-on-one with Hall after another piece of Felipe class.
Road trips await both teams next weekend. The Impact travel to Philadelphia and face the Union on Saturday, August 31, while the Dynamo visit Toyota Park and the Chicago Fire on Sunday, September 1st.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Justin Mapp||When he plays like this, the Impact are nearly unstoppable in attack. Give him space to run and he'll destroy you.|
|2||Marco Di Vaio||Offside a million times, but his relentless running opens up so many lanes - both for him, and his teammates.|
|3||Hernan Bernardello||Shores up the leaky Impact backline by winning every loose ball, and switches the attack with skill and precision|