D.C. United 2-1 Chicago Fire: Ben Olsen’s squad retains two-score lead

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One game in 100 words:  D.C. United want to make their case for the Supporters Shield award as the MLS team with the league’s best point total, and against the lowly Chicago Fire, the Black and Reds didn’t have much trouble counting the goals necessary to snag three points that strengthened their first-place advantage in the Eastern Conference. Although Chicago held the majority of possession and equaled D.C. with the amount of shots on target, Frank Yallop’s team couldn’t find the tying goal after Harry Shipp halved the scoreline in the 67th minute. For United, their winning ways haven’t considerably waned. The Fire will look to next season with aims of development to break a postseason spot.

Goals

D.C. United: Chris Pontius 31’, Eddie Johnson 53’

Chicago: Harrison Shipp 67’

Three moments that mattered

31’ — Pontius for United lead — Eddie Johnson waited just a second before delivering a nicely-pinpointed cross to an unmarked Pontius on the doorstep. The midfielder held his position and anticipated the pass, striking his header exactly on target and goalie Kyle Reynish had only a split-second to react. It was Pontius’ first goal of his 2014 MLS year, and gaining the initial score of the match appeared to set United on their determined track to victory.

53’ — Johnson doubles advantage — The turnover from Patrick Ianni didn’t bode well for the Fire at all. Eddie Johnson grabbed hold of the defender’s weak back pass and raced toward frame in a 1-on-1 with Jeff Larentowicz. The American striker quickly dribbled wide to his right side prior to burying a low shot past Reynish to fashion the 2-0 score. Granted, the Fire were able to keep the game within reach due to Shipp’s endeavor, but establishing this lead definitely provided D.C. with the upper hand.

74’ — Rolled off the post by Harry Shipp — Shipp had netted the only goal for the Fire in the 67th minute, but he possessed the opportunity to skip home the game-equalizing score at this point in time. Quincy Amarikwa had muscled through the opposition’s back line. When he was dispossessed near the five-year box, the young American struck the loose ball, which deflected off Taylor Kemp to leak its way to the iron. This instance was Chicago’s last truly threatening attack.

Lineups

D.C. United: Bill Hamid; Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, Taylor Kemp; Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, Davy Arnaud, Chris Pontius (Chris Korb 69’); Eddie Johnson (David Estrada 76’), Fabian Espindola

Chicago: Kyle Reynish; Lovel Palmer, Patrick Ianni, Jeff Larentowicz, Gonzalo Segares (Sanna Nyassi 62’); Alex, Matt Watson, Chris Ritter, Harrison Shipp; Florent Sinama-Pongolle (Patrick Nyarko 62’, Grant Ward 84’), Quincy Amarikwa