Montreal Impact summer signing Didier Drogba continued his fantastic start to life in MLS on Saturday, bagging a first-half brace to give his side a 2-0 home victory over Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United.
The 37-year-old Ivorian, who joined the Canadian club in July after his contract at Chelsea expired, opened the scoring in just the fourth-minute with a superb free-kick, before adding a second seven minutes later when he capitalised on a poor back pass from Markus Halsti.
Picking the ball up around midfield, the Blues legend proceeded to bamboozle D.C. defender Steve Birnbaum with a set of stepovers before dinking the ball past goalkeeper Bill Hamid to put the hosts on course for their third straight win.
Unsurprisingly, his two-goal display earned the in-form Designated Player man of the match honours on the afternoon, although he seemed to think that the award should have gone to the man pulling the strings in midfield behind him.
“Dilly Duka had a fantastic game,” he said of the 26-year-old playmaker when speaking to MLSsoccer.com after the match. “We don’t say it enough, but he harassed the opponent for 90 minutes.... Today, [Man of the Match] would be Dilly Duka. The work that he’s been doing for this team recently, he deserves it as much as I did.”
Currently sitting in the sixth and final play-off spot in the East, Saturday’s victory keeps Montreal four points above seventh-placed Orlando City SC heading into their final five regular-season fixtures and, with two games in hand over all four teams below, it would take a disastrous meltdown for them to be passed.
Their 2015 campaign looked like it was going off the rails last month when head coach Frank Klopas was sacked following a run of four games without a win but interim boss Mauro Biello has since helped get things back on track thanks in no small part to Drogba’s initial impact – no pun intended.
The former Premier League star is now Montreal's second-highest scorer this term after netting seven times in his first six league appearances and, if he keeps up his current level of form going forward, then the club could well be dark horses for MLS Cup.