MLS Game Reviews
Montreal Impact 1 Columbus Crew 2
The Crew got their playoff aspirations back on track as they found that winning feeling again to claim their second win on the bounce against the Canadian outfit. Things did not start well though for the visitors as Marco Di Vaio netted for the third time in his last two outings to put the Impact in front after 23 minutes.
A cross from Justin Mapp off a short corner found Di Vaio who split two Columbus defenders to head home his league leading eighteenth tally of the campaign. The Crew then equalised after 66 minutes as they finally were able to exert some presure on the home sides goal. Federico Higuain curled a free-kick to the back stick and Chad Marshall out-jumped Hassoun Camara and crashed his header past Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
That gave the away team some much needed momentum and Dominic Oduro sealed the win 12 minutes from time. Higuain was again the main provider as his neat pass through the heart of the Impact defence was collected by Oduro who ran in on goal before clipping it past Perkins. The loss saw Montreal’s four game unbeaten run come to an end as they dropped to second in the Eastern Conference.
DC United 2 LA Galaxy 2
After losing their last two games DC stopped the rot with a late equaliser. LA captain Robbie Keane continued his fabulous scoring run as he bagged his thirteenth goal of the season after only 7 minutes. A sublime back heal from Landon Donovan went right into Keane’s path and he did the rest. 6 minutes before the break United hit back as Chris Pontius managed to get the ball off Omar Gonzalez, before sidestepping Jaime Penedo and chipping the ball home.
Just as it looked like the home side might be able to get something out of this game an extraordinary thing happened. Not that DC conceded or the fact LA scored, but for the first time since August 17 that someone was not named Keane or Donovan as substitute Michael Stephens netted 9 minutes from time. The worrying fact though for LA was by this time only one of the deadly duo was left as Donovan was substituted at half-time with what the club described as a left ankle problem.
Just to show that the world had not completely gone mad though, it was Keane who had a hand in the goal as he produced a excellent feed for Stephens who finished with a precisely hit shot to beat DC goalkeeper Bill Hamid. Even though they are ranked the worst team point wise United never give up and their hard work was this time rewarded as 3 minutes later the hosts drew level again when substitute Kyle Porter header home to deny the Galaxy the maximum haul as they now trail leaders Seattle by five points and have also played one game more as they slip one place to fourth.
New York Red Bulls 2 Toronto FC 0
The hosts got their third consecutive win as they defeated the Canadian side for the second time this term to move to the head of the Eastern Conference. Captain Thierry Henry got them on their way after 32 minutes as he scored for the second game in a row.
Rookie central midfielder Michael Bustamante, making his first pro start, hit a penetrating pass in behind the Toronto defence that Dax McCarty received before unleashing a low cross to Henry for the easy tap-in from close range. Substitute Fabian Espindola then sealed the victory when he netted 10 minutes from time with a header from an almost impossible angle. The lost for Toronto was their second reversal in their last three outings.
Philadelphia Union 0 Houston Dynamo 1
After losing two on the spin the Dynamo got back to winnings ways as they defeated the Union for the second straight time this term. Ricardo Clark got the all important strike 8 minutes into the second stanza. Brad Davis swung in a free-kick and Clark stole a march on two Union defenders to head home from inside the six yard box.
Philly did have the ball in the net after half-hour when a cross-come-shot by Keon Daniel had deceived Tally Hall but that was ruled out as defender Amobi Okugo had been adjudged to have being offside in the build-up. The loss for the home team was their their second on the spin and third in the last four games and sees them drop out of the playoff places as they fall to sixth.
Chicago Fire 3 New England Revolution 2
After going behind twice the Fire rallied to defeat the Revs for the first time this season having previously lost to them twice before. The success all so took them above New England and into the final playoff spot in the East, a position they have not held all season. Things started well for the visitors as Kelyn Rowe scored for the second match running to put them in-front after only 9 minutes when a twenty-five yard looping shot found it’s way into the net passed goal-keeper Sean Johnson.
Juan Anangono levelled things up for the hosts on the half-hour. Joel Lindpere found him at the edge of the penalty area and his shot beat Revs defender Jose Goncalves and goalkeeper Bobby Shuttlesworth, who was deputising for the suspended Matt Reis, who was sent-off the previous week against Montreal. 1 minute into first-half stoppage time and the Revs were back in the lead when Saer Sene scored. Dimitry Imbongo found him with a through pass on the left side of the box, and the Senegalese striker’s left-footed shot beat Johnson.
The hosts then started their fightback 10 minutes after the interval. Mike Magee got his sixteenth of the campaign after Patrick Nyarko had found him at the right side of the penalty area and after a one-two the leagues second leading goal scorer found the target. There was some slight controversy though as the visitors claimed Anangono who was coming back from an off-side position had interfered with defender José Gonçalves to allow Magee to get the shot away, but their protests fell on deaf ears from Referee Ismail Elfath and his officials. with 4 minutes remaining Alex sealed the victory. After collecting the ball from a half cleared corner his low shot went through a crowd of bodies and into bottom corner of the net. The loss for New England was their second on the bounce and also saw them fall out of the playoff places, for the first time since August 24, to seventh in the tightly contested Eastern Conference.
Colorado Rapids 2 FC Dallas 1
After the game was delayed for 50 minutes due to a thunderstorm the Rapids got their second win on the spin to move up to third in the West as they gained revenge for the opening night loss to Dallas. It was the visitors though who got the scoreboard moving first as David Ferreira gave them the advantage 6 minutes into the second-half when he was on hand to convert a pass from the left wing by Jair Benitez with a close range finish. Back though came the hosts and 8 minutes later it was all tied up again.
Two Dallas defenders tried to head away a Chris Klute’s cross but all they could do was send it right to Vicente Sanchez on the left side of the penalty box and the Uruguayan brilliantly volleyed home. 6 minutes later and the hosts were celebrating again as that man Sanchez continued his magical play as he dribbled around George John and delivered a cross in front of goal that keeper Matt Hedges accidentally tipped into his own net to gift the points to the Rapids. The loss for the visitors ended their three game unbeaten run and leaves them still a place outside the playoff spots but now they trail fifth place Portland by three points.
San Jose Earthquakes 0 Vancouver Whitecaps 0
After losing last time out the Whitecaps got their points tally ticking again with this draw as they stayed in seventh and are still five points out of the final playoff position. In a frantic end to the encounter both sides had chances to win it. San Jose nearly scored through an own goal when Jay DeMerit redirected a Marvin Chavez free kick but it cannoned back off the back post with 3 minutes left.
In stoppage time the hosts had two more chances as Chris Wondolowski, who came in with seven goals in seven games against the Whitecaps, had a shot from inside the penalty box blocked by the Vancouver defenders and Alan Gordon also had a chance, but couldn’t get off a left-footed volley after Wondolowski’s knock-back just seconds before the final whistle. In between Vancouver substitute Darren Mattocks almost stole the game when he capitalised on an errant clearance in San Jose’s final third but his shot from the top of the penalty area went just wide as both teams had to settle for a point. That leaves the hosts sill in eighth spot level on points with their opponents who have scored ten more goals than them.
Chivas USA 1 Portland Timbers 1
Portland held on to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference as they extended their unbeaten run to two games after coming from behind to claim a point. Bryan de la Fuente gave the hosts the lead when he found the onion bag after 23 minutes with a flicked header into the top corner that Portland keeper Donovan Ricketts just could not reach. The visitors drew level 5 minutes into the second-half.
Diego Valeri who had replaced Kalif Alhassan at the break was on hand to hit home a powerfully strike that had keeper Dan Kennedy grasping at thin-air to register his second goal in as many games. The point for Chivas still leaves them twelve points adrift at the foot of the West, but they will be a tricky opponent for potential playoff teams coming down the stretch as they have only being beaten twice in their last seven encounters.
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