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Chicago Fire Steal Win 1-0 From Columbus Crew

The Chicago Fire defeated the Columbus Crew 1-0 at Soldier Field on Sunday evening. The Fire remain unbeaten in August with a 2-0-2 record.
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Photo: ChicagoFire/Twitter

Photo: ChicagoFire/Twitter

The Chicago Fire took the field against the Columbus Crew Sunday evening undefeated in the month of August. After two draws against the Philadelphia Union and the New York City Red Bulls, the Fire took down the Red Bulls 2-1 on August 8. After that victory, the Fire were looking to gain ground in the Eastern Conference standings. A matchup with Columbus seemed to be a golden opportunity to do so. Not only are the Crew three spots ahead of the Fire in eighth place, the Crew came to Soldier Field losers of three straight.

First Half Notes

The Fire and Crew’s first half was a relatively uneventful one. The Fire took eight shots, but only two were on target. For their part, the Crew had five shot attempts with none on target. The one thing the Fire racked up was fouls. For the half, Chicago had eight fouls to the Crew’s one, though the Crew managed to collect a yellow card in the 27th minute of play.

For the most part, the Crew seemed in control of the match. The ball was routinely in Fire territory, and Chicago played solid defense to ensure the Crew got no shot attempts on target. Perhaps the most exciting moment of the first was Chinonso Offor getting right up to the right post of the Crew goal before the defense honed in and kicked the ball out.

The Crew had a good situation at the end of stoppage time when a Fire penalty gave the Crew possession just outside of the Fire’s box, but the attempt sailed left and time expired.

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Second Half Notes

With all the stalemates of the first half, this match had the makings of a nail-biter. While the Crew maintained possession of the ball more often than the Fire, Chicago frequently found themselves in Columbus’s box with shot after shot. Still, Eloy Room and the Crew defense held taut.

It was looking more and more like a match destined to end in a draw when Luka Stojanovic collected the rebound off of Brian Gutierrez‘s shot attempt and fired the ball right past Room for a goal in the 78th minute. For the next twelve minutes, the Fire stayed in control and seemed to be ready to get away without any scares.

Of course, that didn’t happen. The Crew found themselves living in Chicago’s box during stoppage time. Luckily, Bobby Shuttleworth and company managed to lock them out of the net, giving Shuttleworth the clean sheet and the Fire the victory.

Man of the Match

The Chicago Fire announced Fabian Herbers as the man of the match, which is a well-deserved recognition. Herbers was all over the field and helped the Fire keep their attack up throughout the match. Still, two more names that deserve mention are defender Francisco Calvo, who was all over the field on both defense and in the Crew's box with a couple of shot attempts off headers, and Stojanovic, whose goal gave the Fire the victory.

What's On Tap Next for the Fire?

Chicago will hit the road for their next six games. For the month of August, the Fire are still unbeaten with two wins and two draws, and they will look to continue that success on the road. Chicago sits six points out of the playoffs while playing great soccer. You can catch the Fire this Wednesday against Inter Miami at 6:30 p.m. CDT, who are 1-1-1 in August and coming off a 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls. The game will stream on the Fire's website and play on WGN. Vamos Fire.