Chivas USA used D.C. United's own goal in the first half to stay alive in the playoff hunt with a 2-0 victory Saturday evening, while struggling United's postseason hopes dimmed.
Maicon Santos set up the winning goal in the 33rd minute, when Chivas (12-9-5) capitalized on a miscue by United goalkeeper Milos Kocic, who was making just his third career start. Jesus Padilla added to the lead in the 53rd minute.
Zach Thornton made two saves in his 11th shutout of the season as Chivas moved into a tie with Seattle for the first of four wild-card playoff spots with four matches remaining.
United (8-8-12) fell behind when Sacha Klijestan lobbed a ball into the box to Santos, who tangled loose from several D.C. defenders and fired a shot from 15 yards. It ricocheted off the goal post, and when Kocic tried to make a play, it bounced off his back. When Kocic turned around, the ball had trickled across the goal line.
After winning their first 11 games at RFK Stadium, United have dropped their last three, including a 2-1 loss to lowly San Jose on Sept. 27. United trail New England for the fourth wild-card spot with two matches left.
Kocic was elevated to the starting position after the San Jose match, in which usual starting goalkeeper Josh Wicks sustained season-ending shoulder and knee injuries.
Story from: STATS LLC, http://www.stats.com.