Wayne Rooney scored twice as D.C. United came from a goal down in the second half to secure a crucial 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire at Audi Field on Sunday afternoon.
Rooney converted a simple tap-in to tie it 11 minutes after D.C. (41 points) went behind, then won the match by emphatically converting an 81st-minute penalty kick. The victory keeps United two points behind the sixth-place Montreal Impact in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, with D.C. holding two matches in hand.
Junior Moreno drew the penalty that resulted in Rooney's third multi-goal game since arriving in D.C. this summer. United are unbeaten in their last six matches, going 4-0-2 in that span
Raheem Edwards opened the scoring for Chicago (31 points) with a goal that appeared might help his former club. Edwards joined Chicago from Montreal in a trade in late July.
But D.C. were level the 62nd minute. Paul Arriola took a shot from the right that may have deflected off a defender on its way toward goal. Goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland couldn't hold the effort, and Rooney knocked in an easy rebound finish from close range.
United then took the lead in the 81st minute. To draw the foul, Rooney made a first-touch pass to Moreno inside the penalty area, and referee Ismail Elfath then ruled Johan Kappelhof fouled Moreno from behind.
Rooney stepped up and drilled the penalty high and beyond Cleveland's dive for his ninth goal of the season.
Edwards put Chicago ahead in the 51st minute on a goal created by the hard work of Aleksandar Katai. The 27-year-old Serbian made a charging diagonal run with the ball into the penalty area, then found Edwards on the left. Edwards cut inside with a couple touches, then hooked his finish back across goalkeeper Bill Hamid and inside the left post.
Katai nearly doubled Chicago's lead eight minutes later, only to drag a tame attempt from a promising position wide of the far post.
Rooney might have had his first MLS hat trick if not for a video review that called back an apparent goal in the first half. Ulises Segura also rattled the crossbar for D.C. before halftime.