Robert Beric scored in his fourth consecutive match to help lift the Chicago Fire to a 2-0 victory over Atlanta United on Sunday evening at Soldier Field.
Beric now has a team-leading six goals in his first MLS season after scoring Chicago's second goal before halftime. Fabian Herbers opened the scoring.
Bobby Shuttleworth made five saves and preserved a second consecutive shutout for the Fire (4-7-3, 15 points), who have won two straight for the first time this season.
Chicago moved into 10th place in the Eastern Conference and above the playoff line.
Brad Guzan made four stops for Atlanta (4-8-2, 14 points), which failed in its bid to win consecutive matches for the first time since opening the season 2-0-0.
The visitors dropped to 11th with the loss and beneath the playoff line. Atlanta has reached the postseason in each of the three previous seasons.
Chicago took the lead after seven minutes. Gaston Gimenez made an exceptional steal at midfield to start a counterattack, then found Herbers to his right.
Herbers controlled the ball with his first touch, then with his second drove a shot that squeezed beneath Guzan's arm and across the goal line. It was Herbers' second goal in as many games, and fourth since play resumed with the MLS is Back Tournament in July.
Beric doubled the lead in the 39th minute after a flowing attacking sequence.
Gimenez again started the attack, and Djordje Mihailovic provided the key pass, chipping it between two defenders to Beric at the top of the box. Beric took a touch, then finished low past Guzan from 15 yards out.
On the other end, Shuttleworth twice made exceptional stops to deny Atlanta's Adam Jahn his second goal of the season.
In the 18th minute, Jahn crisply controlled a pass with his thigh, turned and fired a shot to force Shuttleworth into a reflex stop. Then in the 59th, Shuttleworth sprawled to his right to push Jahn's well-placed flashing header wide of the post.
--Field Level Media