NYCFC forward Heber earned a penalty kick when he won a header on the left side of the goal that hit Fire defender Miguel Navarro’s left arm. Official Fotis Bazakos awarded the penalty after video review. Heber scored in the bottom right corner with Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina diving the other way in the 23rd minute.
“What I do think is that he got pushed in the back a little bit,” Fire head coach Ezra Hendrickson said of the handball. “When you get pushed like that, your body just naturally, your arms go up like that. I don’t think he was trying to put his hand up to stop the ball from going towards the goal. But the call was made and here we are.”
Fire forward Kacper Przybylko appeared to score the equalizer in the 65th minute, but it was disallowed because of offside.
Heber entered into NYCFC’s lineup with 2021 MLS Golden Boot winner Valentin “Taty” Castellanos serving a card-accumulation suspension.
The reigning MLS Cup champions’ defense limited the Fire to 10 shots and only one on target. Chicago forward Jhon Duran recorded the club’s lone shot in the 90th minute, which was saved by Sean Johnson. The former Fire goalkeeper has posted five consecutive clean sheets.
NYCFC – Heber (2) (penalty) 23′
Stats Summary: NYCFC/CHI
Shots: 15 / 10
Shots on Goal: 5 / 1
Passing Accuracy: 81.3% / 70.3%
Saves: 3 / 1
Corners: 5 / 5
Fouls: 13 / 12
Offsides: 4 / 4
Possession: 61.8% / 38.2%
What’s On Tap Next for Fire?
The Chicago Fire visit Toronto FC next Saturday at BMO Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 PM CT on WGN-TV.
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