Marco Di Vaio notched his 10th goal of the Major League Soccer season as Montreal Impact defeated Houston Dynamo 2-0.
Montreal moved four points clear at the top of the MLS Eastern Conference standings on Wednesday with their win at home, as Felipe Martins and Di Vaio both got on the scoresheet in the first half to overcome Houston.
Martins opened the scoring in the 14th minute for the Impact, running onto Patrice Bernier’s lofted pass to slot the ball under Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall.
Dynamo forward Giles Barnes wasted a huge opportunity to equalise in the 22nd minute, sending a penalty over the crossbar, and the hosts made Houston pay 11 minutes later.
Having tested Hall with a long-range shot just after Barnes’ penalty miss, Di Vaio got the better of the visiting goalkeeper in the 33rd minute when he took advantage of a poor back pass by Corey Ashe to sprint onto the loose ball, and clip his shot over Hall.
Montreal lead the Eastern Conference with 29 points, four ahead of New York Red Bulls, while Houston are fourth on 22.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Whitecaps boosted their play-off hopes in the Western Conference with a 3-1 win over Chivas USA at the Swanguard Stadium.
Despite the arduous 4,210 km journey from Texas to Canada, Chivas took the lead in the seventh minute as Tristan Bowen thundered an effort home from 20 yards out.
But the hosts gradually got back into the game, and turned it on its head in first-half stoppage time as Jordan Harvey’s third goal in as many games and then Camilo Sanvezzo gave Martin Rennie’s side the half-time advantage.
They pressed home their dominance late in the second half, as Camilo scored a second after more good work from Harvey down the left wing.
Chicago Fire also came from behind the beat the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in an inter-Conference clash.
Deshorn Brown gave Colorado the lead in the 16th minute, robbing 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year Austin Berry on the halfway line before coolly finishing past Sean Johnson.
But the home side at Toyota Park gritted their teeth and a Mike Magee penalty levelled things going into half-time, while Berry atoned for his earlier header to grab the winner three minutes after the break.
LA Galaxy dropped down to the fifth and the final Western Conference play-off spot with a 0-0 draw at home to the Portland Timbers, extending the Galaxy’s winless run in all competitions to four.