MLS Roundup: Drogba hat trick propels Impact past Fire
Montréal Impact 4 -- Chicago Fire 3
Didier Drogba registered his first hat trick in MLS to give Mauro Biello a winning start as interim boss at Stade Saputo. Both teams struggled with basic defending throughout an open and engaging affair. Drogba opened his Impact account by corralling Nigel Reo-Coker’s cross, spinning through the Fire defense and tucking home inside the opening half-hour. Jeff Larentowicz equalized from the spot after Maxim Tissot halted Harry Shipp’s run inside the penalty area. Wandrille Lefevre punished Sean Johnson for flapping at a corner kick by nodding home at the back post to restore the Impact’s lead three minutes before halftime. Chicago engineered an immediate response as Gilberto poked home his first Fire goal to send the two teams into the break on level terms. Kennedy Igboananike staked the visitors to the lead right before the hour, but Drogba subsequently turned the match in the Impact’s favor. The veteran striker benefited from Ignacio Piatti’s quick free kick to equalize from close range and then nodded home the winner after Johnson made a fine initial block.
Seattle Sounders 2 -- Toronto FC 1
The resumption of normal service between Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins carried the Sounders back into the Western Conference playoff with a precious victory at CenturyLink Field. Dempsey claimed the match ball upon his return from injury by prompting Martins’ opener after six minutes and mustering the response to Eriq Zavaleta’s equalizer just before the hour. The decisive move started with a ball over the top for Martins to chase. Martins maneuvered around the last man and produced a fine save from Chris Konopka before Dempsey swept home to secure the points. Seattle will now see whether Dempsey links up with his international teammates as expected ahead of the United States’ friendly against Brazil on Tuesday.
New England Revolution 3 -- Orlando City 0
The home side produced a comprehensive performance to brush aside Orlando City at Gillette Stadium. Lee Nguyen proved the primary architect as the influential playmaker featured in all three goals. It took the Revolution most of the first half to find a way past the defiant Tally Hall, but Diego Fagundez managed it two minutes before the break to confirm the Revs’ superiority. Orlando City offered little threat before shipping twice more in the late stages. Juan Agudelo completed another sweeping move six minutes from time to erase all doubt before Chris Tierney slotted home from close range to complete a deserved victory.
San Jose Earthquakes 1 -- Philadelphia Union 2
Conor Casey bolstered the Union’s playoff hopes with a late double to dispatch the Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium. San Jose appeared on course for the points when Chris Wondolowski converted from the spot just after the hour. Casey climbed off the bench in the final 20 minutes and tipped the match in the Union’s favor. The veteran forward rose highest to nod home Ray Gaddis’ tempting cross to equalize after 74 minutes. Casey secure Philly’s first victory at San Jose four minutes from time with a glancing header from a driven Tranquillo Barnetta free kick.