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Chicago Fire’s Winless Streak Extends to 8 Matches with 2-1 Loss to FC Cincinnati

Chris Mueller made his first start for the Fire, while Jairo Torres made his club debut as a substitute in the home loss.

Jhon Duran Chicago Fire FC
Photo: Chicago Fire FC

The Chicago Fire’s winless streak extended to eight matches across all competitions with a 2-1 loss to FC Cincinnati on Saturday at Soldier Field.

The Fire (2-5-4) have loss four straight in MLS play, and haven’t won since a 3-1 victory against Sporting Kansas City on March 19.

Chicago defender Rafael Czichos scored an own goal with a header in the 33rd minute for Cincy (6-5-1) to take a 1-0 lead. Fire forward Jhon Duran netted the equalizer in the 83rd minute with a header inside the far post off midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri’s corner kick. It was the 18-year-old Duran’s first career goal for the Fire.

But Cincy midfielder Luciano Acosta answered with the game-winner two minutes later. The captain intercepted a pass from Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina, and scored from the right side of the 18-yard box for the 2-1 final.

Fire Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson on Slonina

“He’s still 17. It was a bad mistake, but he’s kept us in games many times. So we have to take the positives with the occasional miscues because he’s still learning the job, so to speak. So, you know, we still have confidence in him. We just got to make sure that he stays confident and one of the things from goalkeepers they have to always, you know, forget whatever mistakes they make, because you know, we have a game on Wednesday.”

“He’s got to turn around and be confident and come out and play, you know, the way he’s capable of playing on Wednesday. And being a young, inexperienced player, it’s us as a coaching staff myself, specifically as the head coach, to make sure that he stays confident. He knows that we’re confident in him and in his abilities. So it’s just a matter of him just putting that in the past and moving on.”

Fire Notes

Winger Chris Mueller played 71 minutes in his first start for the Fire since being acquired by the club earlier this month. Jairo Torres made his club debut in the 71st minute when he entered as a substitute. The winger joined the Fire this month as a Young Designated Player via a transfer from Atlas F.C. of Liga MX.

Scoring Summary

CIN – Czichos (Own goal) 33’
CHI – Durán (1) (Shaqiri 3) 83’
CIN – Acosta (5) 85’

Stats Summary (CHI/CIN)

Shots: 18 / 9
Shots on Goal: 5 / 3
Passing Accuracy: 80.4% / 72.1%
Saves: 2 / 4
Corners: 14 / 2
Fouls: 13 / 13
Offsides: 2 / 3
Possession: 60.2% / 39.8%

What’s On Tap Next?

The Fire will play begin their three-match road trip Wednesday against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. Central time. The match will be broadcasted on WGN-TV.

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Brandon is a contributor for On Tap Sports Net covering the Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Steel. He also covers the Blackhawks as an independent correspondent for NHL.com. Follow Brandon on Twitter @brandonmcain.

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