Will Bruin scored twice and Boniek Garcia added a goal to give the Houston Dynamo a 3-0 win over the Montreal Impact in the Eastern Conference knockout round of the MLS Cup playoffs Thursday night.
Marco Di Vaio, Montreal's leading scorer, and substitute Andres Romero were ejected in the 89th minute for getting into an altercation with Houston's Corey Ashe. The Impact already had played the final 20 minutes with 10 players after defender Nelson Rivas was handed his second yellow card of the game in the 70th minute.
Fourth-seeded Houston advances to play the top-seeded New York Red Bulls. The Dynamo will host New York in the first game of the two-leg, aggregate-goals Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday.
In the 16th minute, Bruin received a backheel pass from Ricardo Clark, found some space just inside the box and ripped home his fifth career playoff goal. Bruin scored four goals in Houston's run to the MLS Cup final last year.
Justin Mapp had a chance to even the score in the 18th minute, but his shot just missed the right post after Bobby Boswell turned the ball over in the far corner.
Garcia converted a penalty kick in the 27th minute after Hernan Bernardello tripped him in the box.
Bruin added his second goal in the 72nd minute with an assist from Corey Ashe.
Troy Perkins made five saves the Impact, who were in the MLS playoffs for the first time after entering the league before the 2012 season. As late as Sept. 8, they were tied for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
In the 61st minute Montreal leading scorer Marco Di Vaio nearly cut the lead in half with a hard, low shot, but Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall dove in front of the shot to preserve the two-goal lead. Hall finished with four saves.