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Lampard at the double sends City top

02 September 2016, 12:57

New York - Frank Lampard scored two goals in the closing minutes as New York City F.C. defeated D.C. United 3-2 to claim the top spot in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference on Thursday.

The former Chelsea and England star stroked home the winning goal in the third minute of stoppage time to seal a dramatic win for City at Yankee Stadium.

The victory saw the big-spending New York club move to the top of the division with 44 points, one point clear of Toronto F.C.

Lampard, an increasingly influential figure for City after an injury-plagued start to his MLS career, had earlier given New York a 2-1 lead with his first goal on 85 minutes.

But a towering header from Lamar Neagle leveled it for D.C. United at 2-2, with the visitors poised for a share of the points.

Also read: David Villa, Lampard help NYCFC win 3-1 at Montreal

However, Lampard's cleverly taken late strike ensured Patrick Vieira's side would take all three points as they head toward the post-season play-offs in style.

"We've been on the receiving end of some late goals and we've lost a few results late on in matches and I think that we deserved that one tonight," Lampard said afterward.

"Everyone knows that I was injured for the first half of the season. I wanted to come back from June to help and I've tried to do that. I think we're improving week on week."

Lloyd Sam had earlier given D.C. United the lead, rifling a low shot past goalkeeper Josh Saunders.

New York struggled to break down a well-organized D.C. defense, but were gifted a route back into the game in the 79th minute.

A terrible back pass from Sean Franklin sent City striker David Villa through on goal and the Spanish World Cup-winner tucked his finish between goalkeeper Bill Hamid's legs.

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