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Fire score first but fall to D.C. United

Chicago Fire Joevin Jones tries to break D.C. United defense Miguel Aguilar (left) and Sean Franklin in D.C. United's 3-1 win over the Fire on Wednesday in Washington D.C.

The Chicago Fire fell to the MLS Eastern conference leader D.C. United 3-1 on Wednesday in Washington D.C. D.C. United’s Jairo Arrieta scored two goals and former Fire goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra made six saves. David Accam scored the lone goal for the Fire.

Jon Busch got the call in the Fire goal for the second consecutive game and faced 17 shots and made five saves. He was tested early. In the 9th minute when Markus Halsti picked up a loose ball at the center line and sent a through ball to Nick DeLeon who was breaking toward the Fire goal. DeLeon fired a hard shot to the far right of the net but Busch reached out to deflect the ball.

The Fire attack pushed forward and had two good scoring opportunities. In the 20th minute, Matt Polster sent the ball to Accam who fired from close range but the ball rolled just wide on the far side of the net. Quincy Amarikwa trailing the play was too late to finish the play with a tip-in.

Seven minutes later, D.C. United’s Steve Birnbaum was called for a handball in the six-yard box setting the stage for a Jeff Larentowicz penalty kick. Dykstra guessed well and went right with Larentowicz’s shot but the ball bounced off the left post.

A minute later, Accam deflected a nice cross from Quincy Amarikwa into the net to give the Fire a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute. It was Accam’s third goal of the season.

“It was a great goal for us,” said Fire Coach Frank Yallop. “Good early ball by Quincy and a good finish by David, but that wasn’t the issue. For whatever reason we stopped playing in a certain part in the game and started trying to soak up pressure when we can’t do that.”

D.C. United took over the game in the second half. Lead by Fabian Espindola who subbed in for Miguel Aguilar at halftime, the black and red scored three goals.

“They were organized defensively and had some good chances on the offensive side,” said Busch. “They had the one early shot and that was about it. In the second half they stepped it up a gear and unfortunately we couldn’t keep up with them.”

Arrieta headed home a corner kick from Espindola in the 61st minute and in the 69th minute working a give-and-go with Nick DeLeon for his second goal of the night. Conor Doyle slipped through the Fire defense to put a chip shot from Espindola just over Busch into the net in the 75th minute to close out the scoring.

“For me, I think we played a good team today,” said Accam. “So far this season this is the best team we played and it showed in that second half. Even though we were much better in the first half, we didn’t keep the tempo up and they were much better than us in the second half.”

In the 90th minute, late sub Guly do Prado sent a header over the crossbar and Larentowicz had a free kick but Dykstra made the save.

Fire notes: The Chicago Fire (4-6-2, 14 pts.) return to Toyota Park on Saturday, June 6 to play the expansion team Orlando City SC. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Chicago … Former Fire Chris Rolfe did not play. He was suspended by the league for “violent conduct” in D.C. United’s 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday. Rolfe scored the tiebreaker to give D.C. United the win. It was his fourth goal of the season. He has yet to play against the Fire since being traded in April 2014. He was injured for both of the teams’ two meeting last season. He scored 48 goals in 178 game over seven seasons with the Fire. He has 10 goals in 34 games with D.C. United.

BOX SCORE

Lineups

D.C. United: Andrew Dykstra (GK), Sean Franklin, (Capt.) Bobby Boswell, Kofi Opare, Steve Birnbaum, Miguel Aguilar (Fabian Espindola 46′), Markus Halsti, Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon (Facundo Coria 85′), Jairo Arrieta (Davy Arnaud 73′), Conor Doyle.

Substitutes not used: Travis Worra (GK), Luke Mishu, Jared Jeffrey, Luis Silva.

Chicago Fire: Jon Busch (GK), Lovel Palmer, (Capt.) Jeff Larentowicz, Eric Gehrig, Joevin Jones, Michael Stephens (Razvan Cocis 62′), Matt Watson (Kennedy Igboananike 70′), David Accam (Guly do Prado 77′), Harry Shipp, Quincy Amarikwa.

Substitutes not used: Sean Johnson (GK), Adailton, Greg Cochrane, Chris Ritter.

Scoring Summary

Chicago: Accam (3) from Amarikwa and Shipp 28′
D.C. United: Arrieta (4) from Espindola 61′
D.C. United: Arrieta (5) unassisted 69′
D.C. United: Doyle (1) from DeLeon and Arnaud 75′

Attendance: 11,218

SCOREBOARD

Fire 1 at D.C. United 3
Columbus Crew SC 0 at Philadelphia Union 3
Vancouver Whitecaps 1 at Montreal Impact 2

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