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United ends road losing streak against Union

D.C. United has found a home away from home at PPL Park.

Lionard Pajoy scored against his old team as D.C. beat the Philadelphia Union, 1-0, on Thursday night to snap a three-month road losing streak dating back to a win at PPL Park on June 16.

United has just four road wins this season - two at PPL Park - and won for the second straight match since losing 2011 MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario for the rest of the regular season with a knee injury.

D.C. (14-10-5) moved back into the playoff positions in the Eastern Conference in fourth place, just one point ahead of the Houston Dynamo and just two clear of the Columbus Crew. The top five teams qualify for the postseason.

Philadelphia (7-14-6), which is ninth in the 10-team East, lost for the fourth time during an eight-match winless streak. The Union have not won since July.

"This is a tough one. Our team is struggling. We had good looks ... to not get something out of it is disappointing. I probably haven't yelled that much in a long time," Union coach John Hackworth said.

A scoreless first half was void of any good chances from either club, and D.C. had the first decent opportunity from Pajoy in the 56th, but he turned a cross from Branko Boskovic off target at the near post.

Pajoy, who had five goals with Philadelphia before a midseason trade to D.C., did not waste his second chance.

United substitute Maicon Santos started the play with a crossfield pass to the right side to Chris Pontius, who drove into the area and drew Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath off his line.

Pontius, who leads United with 11 goals, notched his fourth assist when Pajoy chested his cross down, then struck a half-volley from 11 yards into an empty net before MacMatch could recover.

D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid had a shaky performance despite a lack of pressure from the Union, but stopped six shots for his sixth shutout.

United had lost its last six road matches.

D.C. and Philadelphia both return to MLS action on Sunday, with United at home against Chivas USA and the Union back at PPL Park against Houston.