The Chicago Fire lost in the dying minutes at Drink Pink Stadium on Wednesday, falling to Inter Miami 3-2. Substitutes Rodolfo Pizzaro and Victor Ulloa connected for a Pizzaro goal in the 93rd minute.
The Fire’s road woes continue as they are now winless in seven matches away from Soldier Field this season, with six of those seven ending in defeats.
While the proverbial monkey remains on the back of these Fire players and staff, Gastón Giménez says the team is not worried about whether they are playing at Soldier Field or away from home.
“Me personally, and I know the team does as well, we are not thinking about whether we are on the road or whether we are at home,” Giménez said. “We are always going out there to go and win whether it’s a game, whether it’s in training. It’s something that we have learned ever since we were young kids to go out there and always give everything you’ve got and be going to win.”
While the Fire players and coaches may treat road matches like any other, it is obvious there is something about the Fire playing away from the lakefront. In fact, by the time the Fire play their next game — away at Orlando on Saturday — it will have been 685 days since the Fire last won a true road match.
Good Response From Fire
The Fire went down in the first half as Inter Miami struck on the counter-attack. Robbie Robinson found himself in acres of space on the left wing and his shot was saved nicely by Bobby Shuttleworth. However, the rebound found Indiana Vassilev, who tapped it home for the opening goal.
But the Fire responded well, scoring a goal of their own just six minutes later. Luka Stojanović continued his goal contributions, this time with an assist off a corner kick. Captain Francisco Calvo was the one that put the ball in the net, his first goal of the season.
The two teams went into halftime all level, but it was the Fire who came out the better side. Their good play was rewarded just three minutes into the second half as Stojanović scored his fourth goal in three games. Stanislav Ivanov made his first goal contribution of the season with the assist.
How Did It Go So Wrong?
The Fire controlled much of the match after taking the lead, possessing the ball well and moving Inter Miami’s defense from side to side. However, they could not get anything going offensively. Eventually, the home team did show needed urgency as they sought out an equalizer.
“I think they made runs behind,” Fire head coach Raphael Wickey said. “They played a little direct sometimes. Even, they tried to obviously combine, but I think they stretched us a little bit with some of those runs. But I will have to watch the game again.”
The 90-degree heat also seemed to be a factor in Inter Miami’s second goal. Former Juventus and Chelsea striker Gonzalo Higuaín received a ball on the right wing and easily found a sprinting Robbie Robinson in the box as he left behind Calvo. Robinson finished beautifully for the equalizer.
Inter Miami smelled blood and while it seemed the Fire could hold on for their second straight away draw, there was only going to be one winner. Second-half sub Rodolfo Pizzaro received the ball from Victor Ulloa and bent it through Wyatt Omsberg’s legs and around Bobby Shuttleworth.
The Fire were going to come up empty-handed. “It’s tough. It’s hard,” Calvo said. “But football is like that. That’s why it’s the most beautiful game in the world because it could change at any minute. Like I said before, mentally we need to try to clean right away and try to sleep tonight, which I don’t think so, but we just try to just start thinking Orlando.”
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