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Chicago Fire 0, DC United 0 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

D.C. United earned a home game in the Knockout Round of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs despite falling short of their second away victory of the season with a 0-0 draw at the Chicago Fire on Sunday.

The teams' combined for only three shots on target on a rainy, blustery afternoon at Toyota Park that lacked the drama and edge felt in some other locations on Decision Day presented by AT&T. But D.C. pushed into fourth place in the East by virtue of their draw and the Philadelphia Union's 3-1 loss at New York City FC.

D.C. will host Columbus Crew SC on Wednesday or Thursday after Columbus' 3-2 victory over Minnesota United to move into the No. 5 seed.

After falling out of playoff contention with an eight-match losing streak, the Fire end their season on a four-match home unbeaten run.

Goals

  • None

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Faced with the prospect of a quick turnaround ahead of the Knockout Round, D.C. coach Ben Olsen opted mostly for his first-choice lineup and didn't make a sub until the 84th minute. Chicago fans may most remember Sunday's 2018 finale for Alan Gordon's 28-minute farewell shift, after the veteran striker revealed earlier Sunday he is retiring.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: In the very early stages, D.C. defender Joseph Mora appeared to handle a Chicago cross inside his own penalty area. Referee Nima Saghafi consulted VAR Jorge Gonzalez, but did not go to a Video Review, which could've led to a penalty and a likely goal in a game that — from a neutral perspective — badly needed one.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: In only his second start since returning from a four-month layoff because of knee surgery, Nick DeLeon made several decisive plays at right back to help preserve the shutout, including an acrobatic clearance at the back post late in the first half. He also offered plenty of threat going forward and allowed Paul Arriola to return to his wide midfield role.

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