Chicago Fire made the most of their clash with lowly DC United in MLS on Friday, crushing the Eastern Conference cellar-dwellers 3-0.
The win took the Fire into the top-five in the East, although they are only one point clear of the Philadelphia Union and two clear of New England Revolution, with the latter sides holding a game in hand.
Chicago were put ahead at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium when Jeff Larentowicz smashed home an effort from the tightest of angles in the 24th minute.
Bakary Soumare quickly doubled the Fire’s advantage less than two minutes later, smashing home his first MLS goal after DC failed to adequately clear a well-placed set-piece put in by former Los Angeles Galaxy forward Mike Magee.
A third goal from Quincy Amarikwa from a Dilly Duka cross sealed the rampant result for the visitors.
DC remain rooted to the foot of the Eastern Conference table on 15 points, and the loss confirmed they cannot surpass Toronto in ninth.
In the day’s other clash, Houston Dynamo climbed above Montreal Impact into third spot in the East courtesy of a 1-0 win at the BBVA Compass Stadium.
The hosts were ahead in the sixth minute, when Ricardo Clark bent a curling effort on his right-foot into the left corner with Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins little chance to keep out the long-range strike.
The Dynamo held onto their lead for the remainder of the match and went one point ahead of the Impact – although Montreal have a game up their sleeve.