Marco Di Vaio pulled even with Jack McInerney atop the Golden Boot standings, tallying his 10th goal of the season in the Impact's convincing victory over the Dynamo.The Montreal Impact made sure to follow up a surprising loss with a comprehensive, resilient performance.
Felipe and Marco Di Vaio scored goals, as Montreal bounced back from a weekend loss to the Columbus Crew by defeating the Houston Dynamo 2-0 Wednesday night at Stade Saputo in a showdown of Eastern Conference contenders.
Felipe opened the scoring in the 14th minute, latching onto an inch-perfect feed from Patrice Bernier down the center, chesting the ball down and beating Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall from inside the box.
Giles Barnes missed a chance to level the score from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute after Mateo Ferrari clattered into Will Bruin from behind inside the Montreal box. Barnes, assuming penalty duties with Brad Davis not yet returned from U.S. international duty, fired his spot kick well over the bar, though, failing to trouble Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
Di Vaio made Houston pay for its wastefulness 10 minutes later, capitalizing on a poorly struck back pass by Corey Ashe at the midfield line. Ashe attempted to play all the way back to Hall, but Di Vaio ran onto it with ease, careening down the left flank and into the area. With Montreal in a 3-on-1 situation, Di Vaio finished with ease by chipping over the on-rushing Hall for his 10th goal of the season, which ties Philadelphia Union forward Jack McInerney for the league lead.
Di Vaio nearly pulled ahead in the Golden Boot race, sending a 15-yard header off the upper right-hand corner of the woodwork following a Sanna Nyassi cross in the 62nd minute. Di Vaio latched onto the carom as well, but he sent his first-time volley wide of the mark.
Barnes had a couple of late chances to get Houston back in the game, none more dangerous than his 25-yard blast that Perkins had to tip over for a corner kick in the 82nd minute.
With the result, Montreal (9-3-2) won for a league-high ninth time, opening up a four-point lead on the New York Red Bulls atop the Eastern Conference standings while owning two games in hand. The loss dropped Houston to 6-5-4, with the Dynamo sporting an identical record to that of two of the other teams in the playoff places, the Union and Sporting Kansas City.