Ola Kamara surged into the lead in the race for the Golden Boot presented by Audi with a first-half hat trick that lifted D.C. United to a 3-0 victory over Chicago Fire FC on Wednesday night at Audi Field.

Kamara converted twice from the penalty spot before adding his third on a header off Julian Gressel's cross to bring his season total to 16 goals and D.C. two spots up to fifth place in the Eastern Conference table. Seattle's Raul Ruidiaz entered Wednesday in the Golden Boot race lead with 14 goals.

Chicago missed a chance to move above the New York Red Bulls into 11th place in the East, suffering their ninth away defeat in 11 trips this season.

Kamara earned the first penalty himself when he got behind the backline and was tugged back by Carlos Teran. Kevin Paredes won the second when he induced Jhon Espinoza into a late challenge after his cutback on the left side of the penalty area.

Between those penalties, Luka Stojanovic twice missed excellent chances to pull the Fire level, pushing a first-touch finish just fractions wide of the near post and then seeing another close-range effort denied by Bill Hamid's reflex save.

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Goals

  • 9' - DC - Ola Kamara (PK) | WATCH
  • 35' - DC - Ola Kamara (PK) | WATCH
  • 44' - DC - Ola Kamara | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Kamara has now converted a career-high seven times from the spot in 2021, which puts him within reach of the all-time MLS record for PKs scored in a single season. Carlos Vela scored nine for LAFC en route to the 2019 Golden Boot, tying D.C. legend Jaime Moreno's nine scored during the 2005 campaign. Kamara's second penalty had echoes of the way Moreno used to take them on East Capitol Street, scoring even as 'keeper Bobby Shuttleworth guessed correctly.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Fire showed enough attacking promise, even after the second penalty, that the match still felt close at 2-0. But the third on a header from a tight angle, moments after Paul Arriola rattled the post, more or less locked up the points for the home side.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Ola Kamara. You can't give it to anyone else after the Norwegian international scored his first MLS hat trick since the 2016 campaign, and the first by a D.C. player since some guy named Wayne Rooney achieved the feat in a 5-0 win over Real Salt Lake on March 16, 2019.

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Next Up

  • DC: Saturday, Sept. 18 at Atlanta United | 3:30 pm ET (Univision, TUDN, Twitter)
  • CHI: Sunday, Sept. 19 at CF Montreal | 1 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

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