Chicago Fire moved to the top of the MLS Eastern Conference after a 4-0 thrashing of Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
The win was Chicago’s ninth from their last 10 matches as they put four past an opponent for the second time in a week, with three goals in the space of 12 first-half minutes proving Vancouver’s undoing.
Nemanja Nikolic set Chicago on their way in the 14th minute, side-footing low past David Ousted at his near post following Matt Polster’s cutback from the right byline.
He only had to wait four minutes to double his tally after latching onto a through ball before shrugging off a defender and slotting home, while Chicago were out of sight thanks to Arturo Alvarez’s stylish left-foot volley across goal.
Vancouver midfielder Matias Laba was given a straight red card for a rash challenge on fellow Argentinian Luis Solignac and the visitors’ misery was compounded when Michael de Leeuw completed the scoring with a fine finish in the 84th minute.
Chicago’s second 4-0 victory in the space of eight days – having downed Orlando City last Saturday – saw them leapfrog Toronto FC and go two points clear at the top of the standings.
The Canadian side came unstuck at the Toyota Stadium as two goals from Roland Lamah guided FC Dallas to a 3-1 triumph.
Ivory Coast-born Belgium international Lamah opened the scoring with only five minutes on the clock and then struck again midway through the first half.
Marco Delgado pulled one back just before the hour mark but Maximiliano Urruti restored the two-goal cushion 12 minutes from time as Dallas moved up to second in the Western Conference following their first win in four.
Houston Dynamo slipped two places to fourth in the standings, below Dallas and Portland, after losing 3-1 at Colorado Rapids.
Although Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle’s 21st-minute effort was cancelled out by Erick Torres on the stroke of half-time, Marlon Hairston’s double after the interval sent the Dynamo crashing to back-to-back defeats.
Portland Timbers remain third after a 1-1 draw at leaders Sporting Kansas City, who were grateful for substitute Daniel Salloi’s goal on the hour that cancelled out Diego Valeri’s 26th-minute opener.
Valeri missed the opportunity to gave Portland all three points after seeing his 76th-minute penalty saved by Kansas City goalkeeper Jake Gleeson.
San Jose Earthquakes came from behind to stun Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 at Stanford Stadium.
Substitute Shea Salinas struck a stoppage-time winner after Chris Wondolowski’s 75th-minute equaliser had cancelled out Jelle Van Damme’s 11th-minute opener.
Goals in the space of three minutes from Blerim Dzemaili and Chris Duvall at the halfway point of the opening half gave Montreal Impact their first win in six in all competitions as they overcame DC United 2-0.
And Hector Villalba scored in either half as expansion franchise Atlanta United defeated Columbus Crew by the same scoreline.Soccer Accumulator Bonus
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