Christian Benteke snapped a long goalless drought to score his team-leading ninth and 10th of the season as D.C. United rolled to a 4-0 victory over the visiting Chicago Fire on Saturday night.
Benteke also assisted Ted Ku-Dipietro's first-half goal after opening the scoring in a win that vaulted D.C. (9-12-6, 33 points) vault above Chicago (8-11-8, 32 points) and into possession of the ninth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Those two also combined on the sequence that resulted in defender Carlos Teran scoring an unusual own-goal to push D.C.'s lead to three a few minutes before halftime.
Alex Bono made two saves to keep the clean sheet for the hosts, who snapped a three-match losing skid while handing Chicago its fourth consecutive league defeat.
D.C. scored its most goals in a match this season while Chicago conceded their most despite relatively even shot totals. The Fire led 13-11 in overall shots while trailing 4-2 in efforts on target.
But most of Chicago's forays forward came after D.C. was well ahead, and once Swiss international and former Liverpool star Xherdan Shaqiri came on at halftime after beginning the night on the bench.
D.C. center back Derrick Williams and Chicago midfielder Federico Navarro both exited before halftime due to apparent leg injuries.
Benteke had gone scoreless in his last 12 appearances dating to early June before breaking through after nine minutes Saturday.
Left back Eric Davis won a loose ball and found Mateusz Klich, who turned and drove a ball over the top. Benteke ran onto it and brought it down with his chest, then cut back to elude the backtracking Rafael Czichos before hammering his finish past Chris Brady.
Benteke's excellent hold-up play set up Ku-DiPietro's fifth of the season 11 minutes later, when he chested down another long ball, turned, and found his teammate in stride for a one-on-one finish past Brady.
Teran inadvertently put the ball in his own net a few minutes before halftime while taking down Ku-DiPietro in a sequence that would've resulted in a penalty kick and likely a red card to Teran if the ball hadn't gone in.
Benteke added his second on a back-post tap-in from Chris Durkin's cross in second-half stoppage time.
—Field Level Media