Washington, D.C. – D.C. United is in a class of its own in the Eastern Conference again.
Chris Pontius scored his ninth goal of the season Saturday as D.C. United beat the Montreal Impact, 3-0, to move into sole possession of first in the East.
Robbie Russell and Hamdi Salihi also scored for United (10-5-3), which won for the fifth time in its last six games. D.C. had its four-match win streak ended last weekend against Red Bull New York, which earned a share of the East lead. New York tied Toronto FC, 1-1, on Saturday to slip two points back.
Montreal (5-9-4), which also lost 3-0 on Wednesday to Toronto FC, was no match for United at RFK Stadium. The Impact are 15 points behind United.
Scoreless until the last seconds of the first half, Pontius broke the deadlock when he latched onto a pass from Dwayne De Rosario, lost a pair of defenders, and then slotted from the left side to the far post in stoppage time.
Russell doubled the lead 5 minutes after halftime, as he ran onto a free kick from Branko Boskovic and headed in his first goal of the season.
United held the two-goal cushion into the final minutes of the game and Salihi clinched three points with his fifth goal of the season. Salihi latched onto a loose ball deep in the area and drove it into the net.
D.C., the first East team to 10 wins this season, is off until July 15 when it visits the Houston Dynamo. Montreal, which has lost three of its last four, is back home Wednesday to host Sporting Kansas City.