Romero, Di Vaio lead Impact to 2-0 win over Fire
Montreal (5-1-1) improved to 3-0-1 at home and won for the first time since beating visiting New York on March 23. The Impact lost 2-0 at Sporting Kansas City a week later and had a 1-1 home draw with Columbus on April 4 in MLS play, and lost 2-0 at Toronto on Wednesday night in the first leg of the Canadian Championship semifinals.
The Fire (2-5-1) dropped to 0-3-1 on the road.
With the Fire down a man in the 76th, Di Vaio controlled a chip pass from Daniele Paponi and, with his back to the goal, spun and fired a low shot inside the left post for his fourth of the season.
Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowicz was issued a red card for a reckless tackle on Paponi in the 64th and a skirmish erupted when Johnson then charged at Di Vaio to thwart a shot attempt. Both were cautioned.
The Impact showed their rust early as Chicago controlled the play and got chances from Gonzalo Segares, Patrick Nyarko and a long blast by Daniel Paladini that forced Troy Perkins to dive to his right.
Montreal picked up the pace midway through the first half as Paponi headed a Pisanu pass just over the bar in the 27th minute. Jeb Brovsky just missed the left post with a volley and Paponi hit another drive just wide.
Already hit with injuries in the central defense, the Impact saw veteran Alessandro Nesta leave in the 54th minute. French native Wandrille Lefevre, a product of the club’s academy, saw his first MLS action. He was given an assist on Romero’s goal and received a yellow card for a tackle from behind.
The Fire were without defenseman Wells Thompson, who served a one-game suspension for a reckless tackle against Columbus.