Posted: Sunday September 2, 2012 3:43 AM

Real Salt Lake closes on West lead, beats DC 2-1

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SANDY, Utah (AP) -Real Salt Lake closed within four points of the lead in Major League Soccer's Western Conference by beating D.C. United 1-0 on Saturday, setting back the Washington club's playoff ambitions.

After a scoreless opening half, Salt Lake took the lead on Will Johnson's 49th minute goal. Ned Grabavoy backed a pass to Paulo Jr. on the left side of the penalty area, and Paulo Jr. sent a cross into the 6-yard box that was deflected by a D.C. defender. Johnson got his head under the deflected ball and knocked it home.

United's defeat saw it overtaken in the East standings by Columbus Crew, which had a last-gasp 2-1 home win over Montreal Impact, with Emilio Renteria scoring the winner in the third minute of stoppage time.

Second-half substitute Renteria received a pinpoint pass from Federico Higuain and scored from 12 yards out to give the Crew their fourth straight win.

Montreal, which had won five in a row to rapidly climb the table, looked like making it six when Italian striker Marco Di Vaio chipped a ball over goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum in the 73rd minute to open the scoring.

However, Higuain rescued the Crew with a 40-yard free kick that defender Chad Marshall headed in, and then set up the equalizer. Higuain, the brother of Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain, has been in fine form since joining Columbus last month.

Los Angeles Galaxy had a 2-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps, with Juninho scoring his sixth goal in his past five games and David Beckham connecting on a late free kick.

Juninho netted a long-range shot in the 41st minute after Robbie Keane redirected Hector Jimenez's pass from the right. Beckham curled a shot from 25 yards into the upper-left corner in the 79th for his sixth score in his past eight appearances.

Vancouver, which has a five-point cushion in the battle for the West's final playoff berth, lost its fourth straight to match its longest skid since joining MLS last season.

That sequence is not as bad as that of New England Revolution, which set an unwanted club record of 10 games without a win as it was held 0-0 at home by Philadelphia Union.

New England has not won since July 8, with a run of three draws and seven losses dropping the Revolution from sixth to ninth in the standings. The team tied another unwanted record by being held scoreless for the tenth time this season.

Sporing Kansas City won 2-1 at home over Toronto, with Oriol Rosell's first MLS goal in the 87th minute standing as the winner.

Paulo Nagamura also scored for Sporting, which moved into a tie for the overall points lead with San Jose.

Ryan Johnson had put Toronto up 1-0 in the 44th minute

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