MONTREAL -- Ignacio Piatti scored twice and the Montreal Impact beat the Chicago Fire 3-0 on Wednesday night for their first three-game winning streak of the Major league Soccer season.
Matteo Mancosu added another from the penalty spot to help Montreal edge closer to a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. The seventh-place Impact are two points away from fifth-place Columbus Crew with two games in hand.
Montreal scored all three goals in the first half, including two in a one minute span.
Chicago, who had been in good form before hosting the All-Star Game, has now lost four of its 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.
Piatti's first goal 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 flicked it over goalkeeper Matt Lampson in the sixth minute.
Dean entered the game less than a minute earlier as a substitute, replacing the injured Joao Meira. It was his first action for the Fire after being acquired two weeks ago in a trade with Vancouver.
Piatti's second came in the 38th minute after he found himself 25 yards away from goal surrounded by three Chicago players. Instead of waiting for a teammate, Piatti curled a shot into the bottom right corner of the net for his 12th tally of the season.
The goal came exactly a minute after Mancosu scored. The striker earned the spot kick after finding himself alone on goal following a through ball from Piatti. Mancosu tried to go around Lampson but the goalkeeper tripped him in the box and the the Italian converted from 12 yards away, firing a well-hit shot into the bottom left corner.