Washington (AFP) – Russell Canouse’s 86th-minute header lifted D.C. United to a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas Saturday and into MLS Cup playoff position with three matches remaining.
D.C. United stretched their unbeaten streak to seven matches and moved a point ahead of Montreal into sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. They have a game in hand over the Impact.
Dallas remained atop the tight Western Conference despite seeing their six game unbeaten run end.
Dallas lead second-place Los Angeles FC by one point, and both teams will play third-placed Sporting Kansas City over their final two games.
Wayne Rooney, the former England captain whose arrival in July has sparked D.C.’s late-season surge, had perhaps the best of the team’s chances prior to Canouse’s goal.
But his shot in the opening minutes went wide, and his curling, long-range free kick just over an hour in was saved by diving Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez.
Rooney’s free kick from the sideline in the 86th led to a shot by Canouse that bounced off the crossbar. The midfielder got a second chance and his header made it over the line for his first Major League Soccer goal.