D.C. United entered Wednesday knowing that they really needed a win. They were playing the Chicago Fire, who is ahead of them in the table, at the same time that the Columbus Crew were on their way to picking up three points in their match and continuing to gain ground on D.C. That made United's 4-2 win over the Fire all the more important as they went a long ways to securing a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
It took 19 minutes for D.C. to jump out in front of Chicago, albeit with plenty of help from the Fire. First, Chicago failed to make a simple clearance and instead turned the ball over to Chris Pontius 20 yards from goal. Pontius then fired wide of the far post. Sean Johnson, thinking the ball would go out for a goal kick just let the ball go, only Dwayne De Rosario was waiting there to knock the ball into the open net.
Just before halftime, Chicago did get even. Some clever and quick interplay broke down the defense and left Daniel Paladini open from 12 yards to finish for the equalizer.
Chicago's lead wouldn't last long, though. Within a minute of the start of the second half, Lionard Pajoy got on the end of a cross from Andy Najar and powered home a header that restored D.C.'s lead.
Not long after, Brandon McDonald added another goal with a brilliant header off of a Chris Korb ball. He took the diagonal ball and expertly lifted it over Johnson and right into the corner at the far post for a tremendous goal.