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MLS Snapshot: New York City FC 4-1 Chicago Fire (video)

Toronto FC v New York City FC

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 13: David Villa #7 of New York City FC celebrates his first half goal with teamate Andrea Pirlo #21 againd the Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium on March 13, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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The game in 100 words (or less): It’s been a season of many highs for New York City FC, and Patrick Vieira’s side now has something to cheer about following Friday night’s win over the Chicago Fire. The home side had its shaky moments but the points never really seemed to be in doubt after a brilliant start from Jefferson Mena and David Villa, who put NYCFC ahead 2-0 after nine minutes. The victory gives NYCFC the first playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, while the Fire remain nine points out of the final postseason position in the East with five matches remaining.

[ MORE: David Villa discusses MLS playoffs, Guardiola and more ]

Three four five moments that mattered

8' - Mena smashes home first goal of 2016 — Khiry Shelton’s playing time has been sporadic this season, but the second-year winger has truly come on lately and helped NYCFC jump out to the early lead.

9' — Villa doubles for the home side — The Fire blinked, and they missed it. The New York City captain picked up his 18th goal of the year just a minute after his teammate, making it a long road back for the visitors.

35' — Fire pull one back through Solignac— It’s been a recurring theme this season, and the Fire found a way to exploit NYCFC’s defensive troubles again 10 minutes prior to the break when Luis Solignac nodded past Josh Saunders.

44' — NYCFC regains two-goal lead after screamer — It was an audacious attempt considering he had David Villa open to his left but Steven Mendoza scored an important and gorgeous curler on the stroke of halftime to give the home side a comfortable advantage.

83' — Villa puts the game to bed — For the fifth time this season, the NYCFC captain has registered a multi-goal game.

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Man of the match: David Villa

Goalscorers: Jefferson Mena (8'), David Villa (9', 83'), Luis Solignac (35'), Steven Mendoza (44')