Steve Ralston scored the go-ahead goal in the 58th minute, and the New England Revolution earned a spot in the MLS playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire last night in Foxboro, Mass.

New England and Chicago finished tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference at 8-13-9. The Revolution will advance to the postseason after winning the season series with the Fire 2-1-1.

All three goals were scored within a three-minute span in the second half. Clint Dempsey put New England ahead in the 55th minute, and Chicago tied it when Nate Jaqua headed in Andy Williams's corner kick. Ralston one-timed a pass from Jose Cancela for the game-winner.

New England will face Columbus in a two-game, total-goals series starting Saturday.

* EARTHQUAKES 2, BURN 2: San Jose clinched the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a tie in Dallas. The Burn, which needed to win to make the playoffs, finished inches from victory when Cory Gibbs's header sailed over the crossbar on the game's final play.

The Burn (10-14-6) missed the postseason for the second straight year after finishing the season 0-3-1. San Jose (9-10-11) finished with four consecutive ties and will face Kansas City in the playoffs. Brian Ching and Ramiro Corrales scored goals two minutes apart in the first half to give the Earthquakes a 2-1 lead. Oscar Pareja tied the score in the 62nd minute for the Burn. Pareja also assisted on Eddie Johnson's 12th goal of the season in the 12th minute, which gave the Burn a 1-0 lead. Jason Kreis assisted on both goals.

* WIZARDS 1, GALAXY 0: Josh Wolff scored in the 23rd minute to help Kansas City (14-9-7) grab the top spot in the West for the first time since 2000. Kansas City finished the season six points ahead of visiting Los Angeles (11-9-10).

Wolff scored his team-leading 10th goal, with a little help from teammate Jack Jewsbury. The midfielder faked around defender Chris Albright and beat goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, but defender Ryan Suarez cleared the ball off the goal line. Wolff put away the rebound.

* CREW 1, RAPIDS 1: Duncan Oughton scored in the 41st minute and Columbus extended its unbeaten streak to 18 with a tie at Colorado.

Columbus (12-5-13) closed the regular season on an 8-0-10 run, finishing with 49 points, tied with Kansas City for the most in MLS. Chris Henderson scored on a penalty kick for Colorado (10-9-11), which will open the playoffs at home against Los Angeles.

Shalrie Joseph has a hair-raising experience against Chicago's Damani Ralph, left, and Andy Williams.