Rooney brace cuts D.C.'s playoff gap to two
Wayne Rooney and Paul Arriola each scored two goals and Luciano Acosta added a goal and three assists as D.C. United cruised to a 5-0 victory over the Montreal Impact on Saturday night at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.
Yamil Asad also had two assists for D.C. United (10-11-8, 38 points) which closed to within two points of the sixth-place Impact (12-15-4, 40 points) in the Eastern Conference and the final MLS Cup playoff spot.
The Black-and-Red, who improved to 9-2-2 at home this season and have two games in hand on Montreal, play four of their last five games at Audi Field.
Bill Hamid had five saves for D.C. United to register his second shutout in nine starts since returning on Aug. 8 from a year-and-a-half loan to FC Midtjylland of the Danish Superliga.
Evan Bush had one save for Montreal, which had a three-game unbeaten streak snapped.
Montreal controlled possession (62.7 percent) and outshot D.C. United nine to three in the first half but it was D.C. who went to intermission with a 1-0 lead thanks to Acosta’s ninth goal of the season in the 17th minute.
The 24-year-old Argentine midfielder passed the ball to Asad at the top of the box and Asad quickly returned the pass back to Acosta, who fired a right-footed shot past a diving Bush that hit the far post and rolled around the bottom of the net.
The Impact missed an excellent chance to tie it four minutes later when Hamid stopped Bacary Sagna’s left-footed shot from the top of six-yard box off a crossing pass by Quincy Amarikwa.
Rooney made it 2-0 in the 48th minute when he split a pair of Impact defenders at the top of the penalty box and fired a right-footed shot inside the left post.
United then broke the game open when Arriola scored twice in a 18-minute span, the first off a crossing pass from Acosta that he tapped inside the right post in the 61st minute and the second off another Acosta feed to the right of the six-yard box that he chipped over Bush.
Rooney finished the scoring in the 82nd minute with his seventh goal in 15 games when a sliding Bush kicked the ball to the former Manchester United and Everton star about 25 yards outside the box and Rooney booted it into the open net.