Ignacio Piatti scored twice as the Montreal Impact cruised past the visiting Chicago Fire 3-0 on Wednesday for their first three-game winning streak of the Major league Soccer season.
Matteo Mancosu added another from the penalty spot as Montreal (9-8-6) edged closer to a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
The seventh-place Impact are now two points away from the fifth-place Columbus Crew with two games in hand.
Chicago (12-7-5) never recovered from a disastrous first half when they conceded three goals, including two within a minute. The Fire have now lost four of their last five games.
Many of the 19,894 in attendance at Saputo Stadium came dressed in Germany and Bayern Munich jerseys, supporting Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. But the nearly sold-out crowd was treated to a show from the home side instead.
Piatti’s first of the evening was a bit of a fluke.
The Argentine blocked a rushed clearance from defender Christian Dean. The ball dropped perfectly in the box for Piatti, who cheekily flicked it over goalkeeper Matt Lampson in the sixth minute of play.
Dean had just come into the game less than a minute earlier as a substitute, replacing the injured Joao Meira.
It was his first action as a Fire player after being traded from Vancouver two weeks ago.