With massive playoff implications looming on Sunday afternoon’s matinee matchup, D.C. United extended their unbeaten streak to six games by defeating the Chicago Fire 2-1 in front of 20,063 fans at Audi Field.
Wayne Rooney's 81st minute penalty kick completed the comeback victory and his third brace of the season for the Black-and-Red.
It appeared as if United opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Luciano Acosta was played through on goal and feathered a pass to Rooney who scored from the left flank. However, the play went to the VAR booth and was overturned by the officials for an Acosta infraction.
United quickly turned up the offensive tempo after the overturned goal. Acosta found room in the 31st minute and rifled a shot that just sailed wide of the left post.
As the United offense was flexing its muscles for the majority of the first 45 minutes, United’s defense was put to the test just before the half ended. Chicago’s Bastian Schweinsteiger played a ball to the back post to a waiting Djordje Mihailovic, who then played it back into the penalty box for an Aleksandar Katai shot that United goalkeeper Bill Hamid stopped on the goal line.
The teams went in scoreless at the half with United midfielder Ulises Segura and Rooney combining for four shots.
Rooney continued to create offense for United in the 49th minute when he fired a low shot from outside of the box that forced a diving stop from Chicago goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland.
The Fire would break the deadlock, though, when Raheem Edwards scored in the 51stminute.
It was none other than Rooney who pulled United level he capitalized on his own rebound to knot the game at 1-1 in the 62ndminute. The goal was the Englishman’s eighth of the season, and was also the teams 54th goal of the 2018 campaign making this the highest scoring season for United since 2007.
Rooney then completed the comeback when a flick into the penalty fell to Júnior Moreno, who was immediately brought down to earn the penalty. The captain then stepped up and slotted the ball home with a powerful strike to the left of Cleveland to give United the 2-1 advantage.
The brace was Rooney’s third of 2018, which tied him with league-leading scorer Josef Martinez for the most in MLS this season.
The victory brought United back within two points of the Montreal Impact for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. United will have two games in hand on Montreal and will look to continue their march to the 2018 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs when they welcome FC Dallas on Oct. 13 at 4:55 PM ET on Univision.