WASHINGTON -- Branko Boskovic's first goal of the season lifted D.C. United to a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA on Sunday night.
Lionard Pajoy's cross set up Boskovic's header, and United (15-10-5) earned their third straight win and extended the club's record home unbeaten streak to 15 games.
United moved into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference, but the New York Red Bulls still hold the first tiebreaker of total goals scored.
Chivas (7-15-7), last in the Western Conference, lost its season-high fifth consecutive game.
D.C.'s best chances came late in the first half when Shalrie Joseph's deflected shot rolled wide of Bill Hamid's left post, before Hamid caught Nick LaBrocca's lofted effort after a goalmouth flurry.
United, which dominated early, regained control after halftime and took the lead when Pajoy and Boskovic connected. Pajoy got the ball on the right and curled a cross in toward the near corner of the 6-yard box.
Boskovic, a substitute, made a darting run from near the penalty spot toward the ball, dove in front of a defender and redirected his header inside the left post and beyond Dan Kennedy.
Boskovic, who also has five assists in 22 appearances -- including 11 as a sub -- signed with D.C. as a designated player in June 2010 before re-signing a less expensive contract this June.
The midfielder could play an expanded role down the stretch with the season-ending injury to captain Dwayne De Rosario sustained earlier this month.