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Impact in Play-off Dogfight.

Wins for Atlanta, Toronto and Revs up the ante ...

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at New England Revolution
Revs debutant Gustavo Bou is mobbed by team-mates after scoring a stunning opener on the stroke of half-time against the hapless Whitecaps.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

There wasn’t any good news for the Impact from last night’s program of matches.

As expected Atlanta defeated Houston, but their job was made easier after the dismissal of Alberth Elis in the 6th minute. You can’t help wondering if it was the result of an over-reaction from ref, Chris Penso. Either way it made an unbalanced contest even more lop-sided, and Houston fell 0-5, their 8th road reverse on the bounce.

Josef Martinez helped himself to his fifth brace of the season, as Atlanta moved ominously into second place in the East.

Toronto FC moved to within a point of the Impact after defeating the Red Bulls 3-1 at BMO Field. Joey Altidore got things moving with a deft back heel and Ashtone Morgan sealed the points with a bizarre goal, only his second-ever in MLS, after Robles and Murillo got in a horrible tangle.

New England moved to within 3 points of Montreal with a game in hand after defeating poor Vancouver 4-0 at Gillette Stadium. Five wins and four draws in nine games since Bruce Arena replaced Brad Friedel, now for the Revs, who saw recent signing from Club Tijuana, Gustavo Bou grab a debut goal. Carles Gil and Teal Bunbury put the gloss on the victory with two goals in the last four minutes.

Former Impact men, Marc Dos Santos and Max Crepeau are having a torrid time at the Whitecaps, and both will be hoping for a change in fortune before too much longer.

Elsewhere former Impact striker Romario Williams grabbed his first of the season, a last minute headed equalizer at Chicago giving Montreal’s weekend opponents, Columbus Crew, their first point in six games.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Chicago Fire
Striker Romario Williams celebrates his last minute leveller at sparsely populated Bridgeview. Impact fans will be hoping there’s no repeat from their former striker this Saturday.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The game finished 2-2 between two sides who are several points below the play-off line.

Remi Garde’s men will be hoping for favours this evening from Cincinnati and Portland, as they host DC United and Orlando respectively.

Impact’s game at Crew Stadium on Saturday is looking increasingly like a must-win, perhaps more in respect of restoring confidence, rather than any final nail in the coffin. Anything else could see them slip further down the table with Toronto and Orlando each having weekend home games and increasingly confident New England facing a winnable road trip to Cincinnati.