Sporting Kansas City have moved into second in the MLS Eastern Conference after a 2-1 win over Chicago Fire.
Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi both scored stunning long-range goals for Sporting in the opening 10 minutes at Chicago’s Toyota Park and then held on to hand the Fire their first defeat in 10 games in all competitions.
The win took Sporting to 30 points, just one behind Eastern Conference leaders Montreal Impact, and ahead of New York Red Bulls (28 points) and Philadelphia Union (27).
New York did not play over the weekend, while Philadelphia lost 1-0 away to Houston Dynamo.
Sporting hit the front in the sixth minute on Sunday when Feilhaber, who was making his first start since May 19, thrashed the ball home from the edge of the area.
A long throw from Matt Besler was flicked on by Kei Kamara and Feilhaber ran onto the ball to unleash a shot with the outside of his right boot, which cannoned into the net off Paolo Tornaghi’s right-hand post.
The visitors made it 2-0 three minutes later when Zusi’s curling effort looped over Tornaghi and into the far corner of the net.
Chicago, who had won their past five games in all competitions, were reeling but started to reassert themselves in the 10th minute when Chris Rolfe forced Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen into a fingertip save, while the Fire’s 30-year-old forward poked the ball just wide soon after.
Mike Magee pulled a goal back for the home side six minutes before half-time but in a lacklustre second half, Chicago were unable to find an equaliser with Sporting holding on for a crucial three points, while the Fire had Daniel Paladini sent off in the 91st minute for a scything challenge on Dom Dwyer.
Montreal maintained top spot in the East with a 1-1 draw against Chivas USA thanks to Patrice Bernier’s 80th-minute penalty after Eric Avila had given the Californians the lead 10 minutes into the second half.
In the Western Conference, Los Angeles Galaxy moved within four points of leaders Real Salt Lake with a 2-0 victory over second-placed FC Dallas.
Marcelo Sarvas and Hector Jimenez scored the goals for Galaxy who moved up to third in the West with 30 points, one behind Dallas, while Portland Timbers dropped to fourth after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Columbus Crew.
In other results, New England Revolution defeated San Jose Earthquakes 2-0, Colorado Rapids played out a scoreless draw with DC United and Vancouver Whitecaps won 2-0 over Seattle Sounders.