Chicago Fire 2-1 D.C. United: Race for the Playoffs catches fire in the East
Chicago Fire extended their home winning streak to three games with victory over D.C. United. | Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A pair of Alvaro Medran assists proved to be the difference between the Chicago Fire and D.C. United at Soldier Field on Sunday evening. Chicago’s 2-1 win means that Raphael Wicky’s side have extended their home winning streak to three games, seeing them rise to ninth in the Eastern Conference standings.

It only took three minutes for the Fire to get on the board, with C.J. Sapong converting a rehearsed free-kick routine. Medran’s cross fell perfectly for Sapong, who fired a headed effort beyond the reach of Bill Hamid.

Though Chicago maintained the better of the play throughout the first half, D.C. came close to equalising on fifteen minutes, only to be thwarted by Bobby Shutleworth. Twenty minutes later, Robert Beric should have doubled the Fire’s leading. The Slovenian forward found space in the penalty area following a Chicago throw-in, but failed to test Hamid with his tame effort.

The Fire did eventually make the score 2-0, with Boris Sekulić dispatching a header in stoppage time. Sekulić’s goal, his first in MLS, came – once again – from a perfectly-delivered Medran set-piece.

D.C., managed on an interim basis by Chad Ashton, halved the deficit after the break courtesy of a Jonathan Bornstein own gal. United rallied after getting on the score-sheet, with Ola Kamara coming close to equalising on 71 minutes.

Amid a wave of attacks from the visitors, Chicago held firm in the final moments of the contest to secure all the points. Defeat means that United’s winless streak now stands at nine games.

Boris Sekulić: ‘We have to start taking points in our away games’

Fire head coach Raphael Wicky told reporters that he was proud of his players’ performance over recent weeks.

“I think for everyone who stepped in for all the players who weren't there or didn't play (for) a long time, I think it's just important for that group.

“I'm proud of the group, I'm proud of the guys who stepped in who now since, some of the guys for seven months, they didn't have a game besides maybe one or two intrasquad games, and they did really, really well. So I'm happy, I'm happy for the guys.”

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Chicago Fire defender Boris Sekulić told pool reporters that the Illinois franchise had to extend their winning form to road games. “We have to start taking points in our away games,” said Sekulić. “Last few games at home we have been playing good and won, the last three games I think. Still, we miss points from away games, now we have two days to recover and try to win against Minnesota.”

Line-Ups:

Chicago Fire: GK Shuttleworth, D Sekulić, D Pineda, D Omsberg (D Reynolds II 75’), D Bornstein ©, M Azira, M Frankowski (M Aliseda 63’), M Medrán, M Herbers (F Collier 75’), F Sapong, F Berić

D.C. United: GK Hamid, D Odoi-Atsem (M Paredes 80’), D Brillant ©, D Pines, D Mora, M Gressel (F Yow 83’), M Canouse, M Moreno, M Asad, F Sorga (M Flores 59’), F Rivas (F Kamara 59’)

Up Next: 

Chicago Fire: Wednesday, October 14 at Minnesota United FC (8 PM ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)

D.C. United: Wednesday, October 14 vs. Philadelphia Union (8 PM ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)

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