DC United opened a four-point lead atop the Eastern Conference after trumping New York Red Bulls 2-0 in MLS.
Luis Silva and substitute Eddie Johnson both scored in the second half as the East high-flyers accounted for the Red Bulls in front of 19,453 spectators at the Robert F Kennedy Memorial Stadium on Sunday - a record crowd for United in 2014.
United were just a point clear of rivals Sporting Kansas City after Wednesday's mauling at the hands of the Los Angeles Galaxy, but the team's game in hand saw them edge clear.
Ben Olsen's men have collected 46 points from 26 matches in the East, while defeat for New York has left the Red Bulls languishing two points outside the final play-off spot in sixth position.
Both goalkeepers were kept busy during the opening 45 minutes but neither side could make the breakthrough.
Australia international Tim Cahill came closest to netting the opener for New York with two minutes remaining in the half after his low shot cannoned off the far post.
United finally broke the deadlock 12 minutes after the interval thanks to Silva, who pounced on a mix up between Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles and defender Ibrahim Sekagya to tuck the ball away into an empty net.
Johnson - a replacement for goalscorer Silva in the 66th minute - came off the bench to seal the points in the first minutes of injury time.
The United States international striker beat the offside trap and drove towards the penalty area before lobbing the ball over Robles.
Meanwhile, the LA Galaxy closed to within two points of the lead in the Western Conference after downing basement club Chivas USA 3-0.
Gyasi Zardes' brace and a goal from substitute Robbie Keane helped the in-form Galaxy to a resounding win over their city rivals.
A run of four consecutive wins now has the Galaxy on 46 points, two behind leaders the Seattle Sounders.
Chivas are two points adrift of the San Jose Earthquakes, though the cellar-dwellers have played an extra game.
|Coach: B. Olsen|
for L. Silva 66'
for F. Espíndola 85'
for N. DeLeon 87'
|Milan on right track - Inzaghi|
|Estoril 1 Vitoria Guimaraes 0: Kleber checks visitors´ momentum|
|Eredivisie Review: PSV in Eagles demolition, AZ downed at home|
|Garcia fumes at missed handball|
|Serie A Review: 10-man Milan frustrate Roma, Cesena rescue point|
|Roma 0 Milan 0: Hosts denied despite Armero red|
|Ligue 1 Review: PSG held at home, Monaco claim fourth win in a row|
|Bundesliga Review: Bremen off bottom with Dortmund win, Augsburg beat Gladbach|
|Blanc frustrated after drab stalemate|
|League Two Review: Moore´s Hartlepool tenure begins with draw|
|Championship Review: Blackpool hit for six, Middlesbrough slip up|
|Luis Enrique enjoying Pedro´s resurgence|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Aberdeen move to second, St Mirren misery continues|
|Koeman delighted with clinical Southampton|
|Pochettino tips in-form Kane for England call-up|
|Dortmund are ´idiots´ - Klopp|
|Allardyce hails ´outstanding´ Downing|
|Young admitted fault after Agbonlahor dismissal, says Lambert|
|Pearson not concerned with speculation|
|Bruce: Hull simply not good enough|
|Everton must improve - Martinez|
|Irvine rues sloppy defending|
|Cruz Azul 1 Auckland City 1 (2-4 on pens): Plucky New Zealanders claim third|
|Austin an example for young strikers - Redknapp|
|Dyche takes pride in White Hart Lane defeat|
|Arabian Gulf League Review: Al Shabab strike late to sink Al Dhafra, top two win|
|Swansea win vindicated changes, says Monk|
|Van Gaal frustrated by dropped points at Villa|
|Paris Saint-Germain 0 Montpellier 0: Champions frustrated by Courbis´ men|
|League One Review: Wilson gains landmark win as Bristol City and Swindon falter|
|Hull City 0 Swansea City 1: Monk´s men celebrate rare away win|
|Southampton 3 Everton 0: Koeman´s side back to winning ways|
|Aston Villa 1 Manchester United 1: Visitors held despite Agbonlahor dismissal|
|QPR 3 West Brom 2: Austin treble lifts hosts out of drop zone|
|Barcelona 5 Cordoba 0: Suarez opens Liga account in emphatic win|
|Tottenham 2 Burnley 1: Lamela stunner wins it for Spurs|
|West Ham 2 Leicester City 0: Carroll, Downing seal the points|
|Werder Bremen 2 Borussia Dortmund 1: Hosts off the bottom by adding to Klopp´s woes|
|Kerala Blasters 0 Atletico de Kolkata 1: Last-gasp Rafique seals inaugural title|
|Warnock fumes over disallowed goal|
|Pellegrini hails Silva quality|
|Betis announce Mel return|
|Huntelaar signs Schalke extension|
|Juventus v Napoli: Allegri backs Tevez to make difference|
|Stoke City v Chelsea: Mourinho calls for adaptability|
|Manchester City 3 Crystal Palace 0: Silva strikes twice as champions go joint-top|
|A-League Review: City snatch Melbourne derby honours, Glory pull further clear|
|Mancini: Inter can finish third|
|Sterling revels in Golden Boy award|
|Pellegrini: You never win a title in December|
|Rodgers bemoans Sanchez snub|
|Ayew confident Marseille can beat title rivals|
|Mercier: San Lorenzo won´t roll over to Real Madrid|
|Lukaku: I´m still 21|
|Mainz bemoan ´tragic´ loss to Bayern|
|Rojo ruled out for Villa trip|
|Lopetegui thrilled with Porto response|
|Guardiola pays tribute to battling Mainz|
|Orlando City sign Shea|
|Porto 4 Vitoria Setubal 0: Brahimi inspires late drama|
|League Two Review: Burton held, Cambridge snatch late point|
|Millwall 0 Bolton Wanderers 1: Pratley nets winner for visitors|
|Lens 2 Nice 0: Cyprien and Coulibaly lift hosts|
|Celta Vigo 0 Almeria 1: Nolito miss proves costly|
|Heerenveen 0 ADO Den Haag 0: Visitors´ winless streak extended|
|Mainz 1 Bayern Munich 2: Guardiola´s men break Christmas points record|
|Blanc unconcerned by league placing|
|United targeting title - Carrick|
|Soldado ´ashamed´ at not performing for Spurs|
|Ramos to wait and see on fitness for final|
|Garcia wins appeal against two-match ban|
|Hart signs new City contract|
|Hereford United wound up|
|Pearson given touchline ban for fan row|
|FIFA confirms third-party ownership ban|
|Inter v Lazio: Ranocchia wants to build momentum|
|Rodgers hits out at Sterling criticism|
|Pardew backs Colback to shine against Sunderland|
|Minimal recovery time a concern for Bauza|
|Liverpool v Arsenal: Wenger out to avoid repeat performance|
|Newcastle United v Sunderland: Pardew calls for a derby day show|
|Adebayor available for Burnley clash|
|Athletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid: Simeone´s men eye fitting response|
|Targett commits to Southampton|
|Garcia vows to attack Milan|
|City still without strike trio for Palace test|
|Courtois set for return at Stoke|
|Di Maria set for possible United return at Villa|
|Neymar in frame for Cordoba match|
|FIFA to publish Garcia report|
|Liverpool will not appeal Balotelli ban|
|A-League: Newcastle Jets 2 Adelaide United 1|
|Fournier eyes Fekir stay and attacking reinforcements|
|Abidal announces retirement ahead of potential Barca return|
|Redknapp: Crouch deal not possible|
|Klaassen laments Ajax ´off-day´|
|Wenger not fearful of another Anfield nightmare|
|Whelan wants to extend Stoke stay|
|Kalou eyes Hertha exit|
|Fellaini: Belief growing of title tilt at United|
|Benteke: Villa transfer request was a mistake|
|Gerrard urges Sterling to stay put|
|Pardew calls for calm ahead of derby clash|
|Kerala Blasters v Atletico de Kolkata: Luis Garcia talks up team ahead of final|
|Monk wants three new Swansea signings|
|Koeman plays down Sneijder link|
|Howard targets another World Cup|
|Inzaghi prepared for Stadio Olimpico atmosphere|
|Toronto expect Defoe to return|
|Rodriguez suffers injury setback|
|Klopp denies Dortmund departure plans|
|Copa del Rey Review: Bilbao and Elche edge through, Madrid derby beckons|