Chicago Fire have made some inroads in the MLS Eastern Conference after a well-fought 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Friday.
John Goossens scored the winner after 58 minutes to send the home fans into raptures as they claimed just their third league win of the season.
It was the Dutchman’s first goal in MLS and came in some style, even if Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham might have done better.
After an even first half, Fire finally took the lead when Goossens caught a nice volley after a failed clearance, sending the ball dipping and bouncing just in front of Bingham, who managed to get a hand to it but could not prevent it from finding the back of the net.
— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) July 2, 2016
The three points were not enough to move Fire off the foot of the Eastern Conference, but they are now just two points off ninth-placed Columbus Crew.
It was similarly tight at Rio Tinto Stadium as DC United snatched a point in a 1-1 draw away to Real Salt Lake.
The cross-conference contest was a valuable opportunity for both sides to keep the pressure on their respective leaders, but it was Salt Lake that struck first courtesy of some Juan Manuel Martinez magic.
Martinez picked up the ball on the edge of the 18-yard-box, before getting past three defenders and dinking the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper after 57 minutes.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 2, 2016
But just as it looked as though Real Salt Lake would seal the win, DC United hit back to take a point from the contest.
Jared Jeffrey scored in the 92nd minute to secure the point with his first goal of the season.