D.C. United 6 - 2 Chicago Fire

With 9 games left for each, D.C. United and Orlando City seem to be in a 2 way race for the 6th and final playoff spot, with both knowing that a slip up would give an advantage to the other. United have 2 tricky away games coming up against both New York teams, over the next 2 weeks, so they had to make sure of getting the maximum points against the league's basement team - Chicago Fire.

The first 24 minutes of the match were a cagey affair, with both teams prodding and probing...

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...with United looking to be the more likely to score...

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...which they did in the 25th minute when a backheel from Patrick Nyarko sent Marcelo through on goal, and his pass across the face of the goal was thumped home by Luciano Acosta.

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United then took control, with Patrick Mullins looking likely to score.

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But it was actually Michael de Leeuw who scored an equalizer for the Fire in the 31st minute, after Bill Hamid failed to hold onto a shot.

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Chicago's Khaly Thiam was then involved in a couple of tussles, one with, the already yellow carded, Jared Jeffrey...

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...and then one with Nyarko, where he quite clearly pushed him in the back, which was whistled by the referee.

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Thiam then lost his head, as he picked up the ball and threw it straight at Nyarko's head. The referee had no hesitation about immediately brandishing the red card at Thiam who protested, in disbelief, to no avail.

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Once they had the man advantage, United didn't look back, pressing forward at every opportunity to try and kill the game.

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With Nyarko passing the ball back from the goal line...

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...into the path of Mullins, who made no mistake in opening his account for the evening.

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6 minutes later, in the first minute of injury time, Mullins was put through again, this time by Acosta...

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...and he flipped the ball just over the sprawling body of Sean Johnson in the Chicago goal, to make the score 3-1.

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1 minute later Chicago's Razvan Cocis took a speculative shot from outside the box, which clipped Steve Birnbaum and flew up into the air, landing just behind Bill Hamid, in the United goal, to make the score 3-2 at halftime.

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In the second half, there was only one team on the field, as wave after wave of United attacks washed up on the Chicago goal.

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In the 51st minute an overhead bicycle kick from Nyarko...

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...was seemingly saved by Johnson...

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...but the referee immediately blew for a goal, as the entire ball had crossed the line.

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United continued their dominance

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...and in the 74th minute, a cross from Sean Franklin...

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...found the left foot of Mullins, who made no mistake in scoring his 3rd goal of the evening.

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United continued to press for the rest of the game...

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...and were rewarded in the 89th minute when an Acosta cross...

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found substitute Nick Deleon, who rounded out the game by scoring United's 6th goal.

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So the game ended with United routing Chicago 6-2, which meant that they ended the evening still in 6th, with Orlando, who beat NYC FC the same evening, one point behind.