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(Reuters) - Didier Drogba scored one and set up another in Montreal's 3-0 home win over New England Revolution on Saturday, as the Impact continue to impress with the former Chelsea striker spearheading their forward line.
Unbeaten in their last four, Montreal are on 36 points in the Eastern Conference and occupy the sixth and final playoff spot. Their chances of making the postseason look good as they have games in hand over nearest challengers Orlando and NY City.
The defeat snapped New England's six-game winning streak and saw them fall out of first place in the East after Columbus Crew beat DC United 2-1.
Drogba had an uneventful debut for Montreal as a substitute in late August but scored a hat-trick in his first start earlier this month and on Saturday he made his presence felt once again.
After an early goal from Johan Venegas, the Ivorian scored with a deflected free-kick to put his side 2-0 up on the hour mark, then set up Dilly Duka with a nice pass for the U.S. midfielder to cap the scoring 15 minutes from time.
Montreal's third goal came against the run of play as they were on the back foot after being reduced to 10 men four minutes earlier when Marco Donadel received a second yellow for a challenge on Revolution defender Andrew Farrell.
Montreal are now undefeated in four games since Mauro Biello replaced Frank Klopas as head coach.
In Washington, Columbus got their fourth win in five matches to move into top spot, with Ethan Finlay and Kei Kamara putting Crew 2-0 up before Chris Rolfe pulled one back from the penalty spot.
David Villa scored his 16th goal of the season to help New York City FC beat San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 while Bryan Rochez’s 86th-minute goal was good enough to give Orlando City a 1-0 win over Chicago.
The win kept Orlando within a point of Montreal while Chicago, bottom of the conference, are nine points out of a playoff spot.
LA Galaxy were shut out for the third consecutive game, going down 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake, while Seattle boosted their playoff hopes with a 3-0 win in Vancouver thanks to goals from Andrea Ivanschitz, Gonzalo Pineda and Obafemi Martins.
Sebastian Giovinco scored twice as Toronto snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win at home over Colorado.
Reporting by Tim Wharnsby; Editing by Peter Rutherford