TFC pulls in front of Impact for final playoff spot in East
7th-place Toronto holds 1-point lead over Montreal with 2 games in hand
Gustavo Bou scored a late goal, Matt Turner had five saves, and the New England Revolution played Toronto FC to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night.
New England (10-9-9) is unbeaten in its last four games and has just one loss — 2-0 at LAFC on Aug. 3 — since May 8.
Nicolas Benezet, making his fourth MLS appearance, scored from point-blank range to give Toronto (10-10-8) a 1-0 lead in the 74th minute. Nick DeLeon, who came on in the 63rd, played a low cross to the back post where Marco Delgado's first-timer was deflected by goalkeeper Matt Turner but Benezet headed the rebound into an empty net.
WATCH | Toronto, New England play to draw:
Meanwhile, Ola Kamara scored twice in the first half as D.C. United blanked the Impact 3-0 to put a massive dent in Montreal's playoff chances.
Paul Arriola also scored for D.C. United (11-10-9), who snapped a three-game losing skid without suspended captain and leading scorer Wayne Rooney. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid made four saves for his 10th clean sheet of the season.
Evan Bush conceded three goals on four shots for the slumping Impact (11-15-4), who have lost eight of their last 11 MLS matches.
The win propelled D.C. into fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points. Montreal fell below the playoff line into eighth with 37 points and four games left to play this season — three of those are at home.
Seventh-place Toronto FC lead the Impact by one point and have two games in hand.
Rough start for Montreal
It was a disastrous first half for the Impact, who conceded three goals in a 12-minute span that ended with a chorus of boos and jeers from the 18,285 fans in attendance at Saputo Stadium.
Replacing the suspended Rooney up top, Kamara got the visitors on the board in the 20th minute. After a Junior Moreno free kick ricocheted off Orji Okwonkwo, the ball fell right to an unmarked Kamara in the box for the opener.
WATCH | Impact lose ground with loss to United:
The visitors made it 2-0 three minutes later when Montreal's Samuel Piette headed Hamid's towering goal kick right into Arriola's path. The winger took the ball in his stride and beat Bush with a left-footed shot into the bottom corner for his sixth of the season.
Another poorly defended set piece sunk the Impact when D.C. United scored off a Felipe corner kick in the 32nd minute. Defender Frederic Brillant headed the ball across the box to Kamara, who headed it past Bush for his fourth career goal against Montreal.
The match was reminiscent of last year's crucial meeting between Montreal and D.C. at the end of September. United won that match 5-0, which ultimately led to the Impact missing the playoffs.
Following a 0-0 draw at Audi Field earlier this season, Montreal has now gone 355 minutes without scoring against D.C. United.
Slide continues for Whitecaps
The Vancouver Whitecaps gave up goals about 16 minutes apart in the first half to drop a 3-1 decision to New York City FC Saturday night, losing their third Major League Soccer game in eight days.
Alexandru Mitrita scored one goal and set up another for New York City (14-5-8), which won its fourth consecutive game. Heber and Gary Mackay-Steven, an early first half substitution, also scored.
Forward Yordy Reyna scored in the 64th minute for Vancouver.
The game had an eventful first half. A crowd of 17,512 at BC Place Stadium watched New York City score twice and two Whitecaps assistant coaches get ejected for arguing a disputed call.
Mitrita made it 3-1 in the 77th minute when his free kick from about 25 yards out squeezed in between the post and Whitecaps goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau. It was his eighth goal of the year.
New York City used a turnover in the 10th minute to go ahead 1-0 on Heber's 14th goal of the season. Midfielder Tony Rocha took the ball off the foot of Vancouver midfielder Jon Erice, then passed it to Mitrita. He sent it to Heber who scored on a low, hard shot. It was Mitrita's league-leading 19th assist.
Heber limped off the field in the 21st minute after going down in a heap and was replaced by Mackay-Steven.
WATCH | Whitecaps fall to NYCFC:
A pretty play by captain Maximiliano Moralez set up Mackay-Steven's goal in the 26th minute. Moralez threaded a perfect pass through the Vancouver defence to a charging Mackay-Steven who chipped the ball over the Whitecap goalkeeper.
Tempers flared in the 31st minute when referee Marcos de Oliveira initially signalled a penalty kick should be awarded to Vancouver after New York City goalkeeper Sean Johnson appeared to foul Whitecaps forward Tosaint Ricketts. The call was reversed on a video replay, resulting in both goalkeeper coach Youssef Dahha and assistant coach Vanni Sartini being ejected for arguing the decision.
Dahha didn't go quietly. He rallied the booing crowd to their feet while being escorted off the pitch.
Reyna got the Whitecaps fans back into the game when he took a pass from Ricketts and took a shot from the right side of the box that curled just inside the left post.
The Whitecaps (6-15-9) were coming off a 2-1 loss to Montreal Wednesday and are (1-4-0) in their last five games. They have been outscored 11-5 in this stretch and sit last in the MLS Western Conference.
The win moved New York City into second place on the Eastern Conference, one point behind the Philadelphia Union.
With files from The Associated Press