Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By MITCHELL NORTHAM
Luis Silva showed just how important he is the success of D.C. United this season.
After going nine games without a goal, Silva recorded his first career hat-trick in the first half, propelling D.C. United to a 4-2 victory against the Montreal Impact on Wednesday evening at Stade Saputo. With the win, they earned a much needed three points to propel them into first place in the Eastern Conference.
Fans who made their way to the stadium certainly got their money’s worth, even if it came in a loss for the home team. Inside of 23 minutes, both teams had scored twice.
Silva scored his first in the sixth minute when Chris Rolfe found a wide-open Fabian Espindola at the top of the box. Espindola slipped a through ball past the Impact defense for Silva to run on to and he finished his chance easily.
The Impact hit back six minutes later though when forward Jack McInerney fired a low strike from a tight angle to tie the scoreline. Hassoun Camara played a defense-splitting pass from his own back line to give McInerney the opportunity on goal.
That scoreline didn’t last long, however. In the 21st minute, the Impact took the lead as Andreas Romero capitalized on some poor defending to finish at the near post of backup goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra, giving the Impact a 2-1 advantage.
Two minutes later, the match was tied once more. Espindola was given space on the left side of the field and he sent in a cross into the box that was blasted home by Nick DeLeon.
Patrice Bernier had a shot to give the Impact the lead again in the 36th minute but his free kick from just outside the box cannoned off the crossbar. Four minutes later, Luis Silva made them pay.
Silva took a turnover in midfield and ran towards goal before unleashing a curling drive that Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins couldn’t keep out of the net. In the fifth minute of first half stoppage time, Silva capped off his hat-trick with a perfectly taken penalty kick, giving D.C. United the 4-2 lead.
The Impact had plenty of opportunities to strike back in the second half and Bernier’s missed penalty kick in the 75th minute really summed up their missed opportunities to score goals in the latter half of the game despite controlling possession.
With seven goals and eight assists now, Espindola leads all MLS players in direct goal involvement with 15.