Dwayne De Rosario scored his first goal since May 19, and Lionard Pajoy has scored his first goal in a D.C. United shirt as the Black-and-Red lead the Chicago Fire, 2-1 at halftime of a crucial Eastern Conference contest at RFK Stadium.
De Rosario's goal in the 19th minute was a back post finish into an open net after a low shot by Chris Pontius pulled Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson out of his net. The goal was De Rosario's 99th regular season tally in MLS. Only 6 players have scored 100.
In general, United were the better side in the first half, and they could have gone two up at the half-hour mark when Pajoy ran onto a pass and found himself one-on-one with Johnson. However, Pajoy chose to pull up his run and look for help rather than attempt to round the Chicago keeper and the ball was cleared away.
Chicago equalized in the final minute of normal time through Dan Paladini, who started and finished a lovely set of passes near the top of the United penalty area. The final pass of the sequence found Paladini all alone at the top of the box and he finished past Bill Hamid.
The draw lasted about 90 seconds. In the first minute of first half stoppage time, a cross to the back post by Andy Najar found Pajoy who planted a downward header past Johnson.
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