Fire crack into the Top Six in the East with a win over New York City FC

Alexsander Katai celebrates his goal in the second half in the Chicago Fire's 3-2 win over New York City FC at Toyota Park.

CHICAGO – They’ve been chipping away with a few wins and a collection of ties over the past two months, and finally they’ve managed to crack in.

Yes, it’s a little early to start celebrating for the Chicago Fire, but at the moment, they’re in the playoffs.

After a slow start put them in the second half of the MLS’ Eastern Conference, the Fire have climbed into the Top Six after a 3-2 win over New York City FC on Saturday night at Toyota Park.

The win vaulted them two points over the Montreal Impact for the last playoff spot in the conference – though it’s fair to point out that there is nearly two-and-a-half months to go in the regular season.

To get to that point, the Fire relied on their main scorers for the season to get them past NYCFC, who currently sits in third in the Eastern Conference. Nemaja Nikolic got the Fire on the board with a score in the sixth minute, but the visitors rallied for a pair of goals at the end of the first half to take a 2-1 lead.

Aleksandar Katai erased the lead himself early in the second half with goals in the 47th and 52nd minute to give the Fire the lead for good. It continues a hot streak for the midfielder, who now has five goals in five games and a team-high eight scores for the season.

Those goals held up to produce another Fire victory, one than has them on the inside of the playoff race for the first time in a while.