MLS Game Reviews
Montreal Impact 0 Vancouver Whitecaps 3
The Whitecaps extended their unbeaten run to two games to move up a place to sixth out West and within four points of the final playoff spot. Kenny Miller set them on their way when he converted a penalty kick after 7 minutes. Nigel Reo-Coker swung in a cross that reached Matt Watson and his shot was handled by Hassoun Camara who was trying to regain his balance after he had slipped over. With 7 minutes left to the break the hosts thought they had a penalty of their own but after referee Jorge Gonzalez had consulted with his assistant a corner kick was awarded instead much to the annoyance of the Impact bench. Camilo Sanvezzo who had replaced Miller on the hour mark then made the points safe with two gaols late on.
With 1 minute remaining in the 90 minutes he was on hand at the far post to squeeze the ball in past keeper Troy Perkins and 1 minute into stoppage time he put the icing on the cake when he found space at the top of the box before curling a brilliant effort into the top corner of the net. Montreal have now lost two games on the spin and it sees them drop a place to third in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto FC 1 Sporting Kansas City 2
The visitors secured their third consecutive victory and gained their second win in a row against the Canadian outfit as they moved level on points with Eastern leaders New York who have yet to take to the field this weekend. A brace from CJ Sapong, his third in his last two MLS games, was enough to claim the spoils. His first strike was after 18 minutes when he was on hand to convert a knock-back from Dominic Dwyer after Graham Zusi had found him with a superb long pass. The hosts levelled it up 7 minutes from the interval when a defensive error by Aurelien Collin and goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen allowed Darel Russell to hit home a low shot just inside the left post.
The home team almost took the lead just before half-time but striker Bright Dike saw his header cleared off the line by former Toronto player Jacob Peterson. That was to prove costly as 8 minutes into the second-half Sapong put Sporting back in front when he headed in a Chance Myers cross. The frustration for the hosts boiled over late on as first Captain Steven Caldwell was handed a straight red 4 minutes from time for a foul on Sporting KC defender Josh Gardner and in stoppage time after another penalty appeal was waved away referee Allen Chapman dispatched not only head coach Ryan Nelsen but also assistant coach Fran O’Leary from the dug-out area for dissent as their team lost for the second match running which sees them stay ninth.
New England Revolution 2 DC United 1
The Revs moved back into the final playoff place in the Eastern Conference as they made it two wins on the trot against DC with a come-back success to end their two game losing run. Things started horribly for the hosts when Scott Caldwell, attempting to clear a cross from Luis Silva, could only succeed in poking the ball past his own goalkeeper Matt Reis after 11 minutes. 12 minutes into the second-half and the Revs were given a chance to level. Despite Dejan Jakovic appearing to get a clean tackle on Lee Nguyen referee Juan Carlos Rivero had other ideas and pointed to the penalty spot.
Nguyen stepped up but DC keeper Bill Hamid dived brilliantly to his right to keep the ball out. The rest-bite was short lived as 1 minute later the hosts did return the match to parity, although the run Diego Fagundez made to receive the pass from Saer Sene did appear to put him in an off-side position, but the flag stayed down and he did the rest. 7 minutes from time Nguyen did convert from the spot to seal the win. The visitors falling to their third reversal in their last four outings.
Columbus Crew 3 Chicago Fire 0
Columbus made it two wins on the spin and three in their four as they avenged the two previous loses to the Fire this term to keep them in contention for a playoff spot. Dominic Oduro get them off and running after 15 minutes when he collected a toe poked pass from Jairo Arrieta to beat Sean Johnson with low far-post strike after Federico Higuain had claimed possession in midfield. Things got worse for the visitors as they were reduced to ten men just before the half-hour.
A defected ball flew over the head of the Fire’s defence and after Johnson elected to stay on his line it resulted in a one-on-one chase between Arrieta and Bakary Soumare, contact ensued just outside the penalty area and referee Juan Guzman had no choice but to issue a straight-red to the Mali defender. As the game progressed the extra man advantage the Crew had started to pay dividends. Higuain converted a spot kick with 20 minutes left after Arrieta had just beat Johnson to the ball after an inch perfect pass from Tony Tchani resulted in the keeper bringing him down. The game was put to bed 6 minutes later when Bernardo Anor slotted home a diagonal ball from Tchani. The Fire who the week before had claimed a playoff place for the first time this season they week lost it as they fell to sixth a point behind in the ultra tight Eastern Conference.
Houston Dynamo 5 Chivas USA 1
The Dynamo made it two straight wins to stay fourth in the East after this destructive performance. Giles Barnes got the first of his brace 6 minutes before the interval when he headed in a Brad Davis corner, with that helper Davis became only the seventh player in MLS history to register 100 assists. Their only cause for anxiety came 5 minutes into the second stanza when Chivas equalised. Jermaine Taylor gave possession away cheaply and Eric Avila was in the right place, having originally set up Carlos Alvarez he capitalised on the rebound after his colleagues shot had hit the post. 4 minutes later though and Houston had retaken the lead. After a through ball by Ricardo Clark Barnes grabbed his second as he unleashed an unstoppable shot from just outside the penalty area.
Will Bruin then doubled their advantage 9 minutes later. A through ball by Warren Creavalle sent him on his way and after a lucky deflection fell to him after Chivas USA defender Steve Purdy seem to have the situation under control his effort evaded the reach of goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. The hosts were in no mood to take their foot of the gas and 11 minutes from time they added another. Boniek Garcia got the first of his double. Creavalle, Bruin and Weaver used five passes to completely turn Chivas defence and Garcia was on hand to complete the move for his first goal of the year. Like London buses it did not take long for him to see a second as he converted a spot kick 1 minute into stoppage time after a hand ball was seen on the visitors goal-line. The reversal saw the end of their mini two unbeaten run.
Real Salt Lake 1 San Jose Earthquakes 2
The Earthquakes made it three games undefeated as they avenged their two previous losses to RSL this campaign to keep their playoff momentum going and move up to seventh in the Western Conference only four points out of the final playoff birth. Three goals in as many minutes was the story of this one. Firstly Steven Lenhart got his first of a brace as he gave the visitors the lead after 18 minutes when his powerfully struck shot found the net after a cross from Cordell Cato. 1 minute later and Javier Morales had tied the game back up when he met a Kyle Beckerman corner 2 minutes later and Lenhart popped up with what turned out to be the winner after he managed to get his head on a free-kick from Shea Salinas to beat Nick Rimando in the home sides goal.
The loss for RSL was their second in consecutive matches but they do still stay second in the Western Conference but now trail the leaders by two points having played a couple of games more.
LA Galaxy 1 Seattle Sounders 1
The Sounders saw their five game winning streak come to an end put they did stretch their unbeaten run to six games as they extended their lead at the Summit of the Western Conference to two points. Eddie Johnson had given them the advantage after 25 minutes when he lost his marker Omar Gonzalez to get on the end of a Mauro Rosales corner. Just when it seemed that was going to be the difference between the two teams at the break two decisive incidents happened.
After Jose Villarreal was tripped by Zach Scott he picked up a yellow card and from the resulting free-kick Juninho found the net for the first time this campaign 2 minutes into stoppage time with a brilliant curling effort past keeper Michael Gspurning to get his side level at the interval. The hosts had the better of the second-half but could not find a way through. That booking for Scott was to prove pivotal as right on 90 minutes he picked up a second and will now have to sit out a suspension. The point for the home side, their second in a row does move them back to fourth place having recorded one more win than Colorado.