Following a dismal month of August, the Chicago Fire have seen new life in September.
Veljko Paunovic’s side extended their current unbeaten run to three matches, defeating D.C. United 3-0 on Saturday evening.
The hosts used an own-goal paired with two second-half goals to cruise their way to three points. After Nemanja Nikolic saw a pair of efforts saved in the 16th and 17th minutes respectively, the Fire got some luck for the first goal of the match.
An own goal by D.C.’s Ian Harkes in the 23rd minute gave the Fire a 1-0 advantage. The midfielder headed the ball back into his own net following a Fire corner.
Brandon Vincent came closest to doubling the lead before halftime, seeing a left-footed effort saved in the 36th minute.
Luciano Acosta’s long-range effort in the 46th minute forced Matt Lampson into his second save of the evening. Acosta was kept out again in the 52nd minute, again seeing a right-footed effort saved.
Vincent added the all-important second goal for Chicago in the 62nd minute, heading home Arturo Alvarez’s assist. It was the left-back’s second goal of the season.
Nikolic capped the final score at 3-0 in stoppage time, scoring from the penalty spot for his 18th goal of the season. Luis Solignac drew the foul inside the box, as Russell Canouse was the guilty party.
At the final whistle, the Fire remained in third place in the Eastern Conference. Bill Hamid made five saves in the loss, while Lampson made four in the home clean sheet.
The Fire (14-9-6) now head on the road for a two-game roadtrip, starting with a date against the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 23rd.
D.C. United (8-17-4) remains bottom of the Eastern Conference with the loss. They next host the San Jose Earthquakes at RFK Stadium, also on the 23rd.
MAN OF THE MATCH
After taking a 1-0 lead into the halftime break, the Chicago Fire knew another goal would be needed to hold off their opponents. Brandon Vincent earned honors, scoring the Fire’s second goal of the evening.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Vincent’s goal really slammed the door shut on D.C.’s comeback attempt. The visitors were really pushing for an equalizer to start the second-half, and Vincent’s goal extended the lead for the Fire.
MATCH TO FORGET
D.C.’s Deshorn Brown was quiet on Saturday, failing to record a shot in the loss.