Seven points shy of a playoff berth with 11 games to play, the Chicago Fire are officially running out of time. Sadly, instead of using their desperation as fuel on Saturday night, they came out flat against a superior opponent and found themselves down 2-0 after only six minutes of play.
Having suffered their worst loss of the season to LAFC one week ago, Sporting KC looked like a team with a chip on its collective shoulder, nearly doubling their advantage with some fans still migrating to their seats.
By the half-hour mark, the Fire were finally able to shake off the shell shock of a nightmarish start and generate some decent scoring chances. However, they had nothing to show for their improved effort and faced an uphill battle on the road against a team with their sights set on a Western Conference crown.
Just before half, KC knocked one off the post from just outside the box, prompting play-by-play announcer Nate Bukaty to declare that only being down 2-0 was “perhaps a small victory for the Fire”. Indeed, Nate. Indeed.
The start of the second half brought more of the same with the Fire looking for answers as Sporting KC controlled the run of play. In the 60th minute, the visitors nearly got on the board when Luka Stojanović sent a screamer off the crossbar. This shifted the momentum of the game with the Fire nearly scoring two more goals shortly after but ultimately it was to no avail.
Chinonso Offor came close to getting the Fire on the board in the 74th minute but once again Chicago came up empty as time continued to tick away. That was the last chance the visitors would have to find the back of the net as Sporting KC put the final touches on a 2-0 victory.
Man of the Match
Johnny Russell wreaked havoc all game long, scoring KC’s second goal and jumpstarting the home side’s attack. He gets tonight’s honors.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Fire (6-12-5) hit the road to play D.C. United (9-10-4) on September 15. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 PM CT on WGN-TV, ChicagoFireFC.com, and ESPN+ for out-of-market streaming. As always, you can check out the latest Fire content, articles, and more at Second City On Tap.