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Alexander Ring, David Villa score as NYCFC clinches playoff berth with win over Fire

NYCFC forward David Villa moves the ball up

NYCFC forward David Villa moves the ball up the pitch during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the New York Red Bulls, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in New York. The match ended in a 1-1 draw. Photo Credit: AP/Steve Luciano

Alexander Ring and David Villa scored four minutes apart in the second half and New York City FC beat the Chicago Fire 2-0 on Wednesday night to clinch a playoff spot.

NYC (15-8-8), 10 points behind first-place Atlanta, won for the second time in its last 10 games. Chicago (7-16-7) is winless in its last 10 road matches, going 0-7-3.

Ring gave NYCFC a 1-0 lead in the opening minutes of the second half and Villa scored his 12th goal of the season in the 51st. Villa set up the first goal by laying it off for an oncoming Ring, who curled it home from the top of the 18-yard box. Villa redirected Maximiliano Moralez's back pass near the penalty spot.

Chicago's best scoring chance came in the 32nd when Raheem Edwards' bicycle-kick attempt forced a diving save by Sean Johnson. Veteran Alan Gordon entered as a second-half substitute for his first action since Aug. 23.

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