Winless in their last five matches, yet not mathematically eliminated from postseason play, the Chicago Fire came into Wednesday’s contest hanging on for dear life. Meanwhile, New York City FC stormed into SeatGeek Stadium with a chip on their shoulder after losing twice to the Red Bulls last week.
Early on, the Fire were the aggressors, implementing a high press which forced New York into multiple turnovers in their own end. Unfortunately, Chicago had little to show for their effort as the visitors actually had the best chance, sending a shot off the post in the 25th minute.
Just before the break, the Fire experienced a pain that’s become synonymous with the city of Chicago, the double doink, hitting the crossbar twice on the same possession. Ultimately, neither team found the back of the net as they made their way to the dressing room tied 0-0.
The Fire came out with the same energy as the first half, but this time it paid off when Robert Berić caught NYCFC napping in the first five minutes. Armed with the lead and newfound confidence, the home side took control of the match while New York was visibly frustrated.
Chicago kept their foot on the gas, doubling their lead in the 66th minute when newcomer Federico Navarro sent a shot on net that deflected through the goalkeeper’s wickets and over the line. The Fire then began strategically subbing out attackers in favor of defense in order to protect their lead.
In the waning moments, New York played with desperation in hopes of salvaging a point, increasing their pace while generating multiple semi-dangerous scoring chances and several corner kicks. But, Chicago was having none of it as they weathered the storm and held on for a 2-0 victory.
Man of the Match
Berić was brilliant tonight, scoring the Fire’s first goal while supplying consistent pressure on New York’s backline with his speed off the wing. He was the easy choice for man of the match.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Fire (7-6-15) hit the road to play Toronto FC (5-7-15) on October 3. Kick off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. CDT 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.
Follow On Tap Sports Net on social media!