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MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

September 23, 2016
MLS ROUNDUP
Villa leads NYC past Fire, 4-1


NEW YORK CITY FC 4, CHICAGO FIRE 1
BRONX, NY--A brace from David Villa and strikes from Jefferson Mena and Steven Mendoza powered New York City FC to a 4-1 win over the Chicago Fire Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

NYC (13-9-9, 48 pts) take over first place in the MLS East, at least until Saturday, and are positioned to clinch a playoff spot this weekend. The Fire fall to 6-14-9 with a league-worst 27 points.

NYC set the tone with two quick goals in the early minutes, starting when Khiry Shelton found Jefferson Mena at the top of the six-yard box in the eighth minute. Mena eluded defender Michael Harrington and was wide open for an easy volley past goalkeeper Sean Johnson to put the home side up 1-0.

New York doubled their lead on the ensuing kickoff. Shelton dished the ball to an onrushing Villa who easily slotted his ninth-minute shot past Johnson.

Chicago responded in the 35th minute when Arturo Alvarez delivered a cross into the box for Luis Solignac, who headed it past Josh Saunders to make it a one-goal game.

New York took a two-goal lead into the intermission. Villa was sprung into the attacking half on a 44th minute counterattack after a Fire corner kick. Villa carried the ball forward, finding Mendoza, who cut in on his preferred left foot before blasting a golazo into the upper 90 past Johnson to extend the lead to 3-1.

The Spanish star completed his brace in the 83rd minute, beating Johnson with a well-struck ball.
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