Fire Recap and Analysis

Fire Blank United to Notch First Road Victory of the Season, Move into Second Place

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Chicago Fire entered RFK Stadium on Saturday in search of their first road victory of the season against D.C. United. Prior to Saturday’s match in the nation’s capital, the Fire were 0-3-2 in road matches during the 2017 campaign, being outscored 5-12 in those five matches.

The Fire entered Saturday’s contest winners of back-to-back games by three or more points for the first time in 14 years, with the last time coming in May of 2003. The Men in Red earned a pair of victories on their last brief home-stand at Toyota Park, blasting the defending MLS Champions last Saturday night in a prime-time match-up and then followed that up with a 3-0 shutout over Colorado on Wednesday evening.

With the United entering the contest sputtering on the offensive attack, the Fire looked to take advantage of their offensive woes for their first road victory of the season, and they did just that on Saturday afternoon as they blanked the United 1-0 to record their second shutout in the last four days.

The Fire began the first half with the same starting eleven from this past Wednesday’s match with the Colorado Rapids, a move that could have backfired on Head Coach Velijko Paunovic had the Fire been affected by fatigue, entering their third match in the last seven days. Fortunately for Paunovic his squad was able to finish the opening half with a possession rate of 61 percent.

The first half of play saw both sides draw a combined 17 fouls in a very physical opening half, and despite Nemanja Nikolic creating a pair of excellent scoring chances in the first half, the Men in Red hit the locker room after the first 45′ with no goals to show.

It only took the Fire seven minutes in the second half to break the scoreless tie when David Accam scored his fourth goal in his last four contests in the 52nd minute to give the Fire a 1-0 lead over D.C.. The Accam goal would be all that the Fire needed as they went on the earn the victory, the second consecutive shutout for goalkeeper Matt Lampson and his fifth overall as a member of the Chicago Fire.

The Fire handed D.C. their seventh shutout defeat in 11 matches this season as they notched a road win for the first time in six tries. The Fire have now racked up nine points in the last seven days, outscoring their opponents by a score of 8-1. The Fire now have 21 points on the campaign and sit in second place in the Eastern Conference, just five points behind Toronto FC for the top spot in the East.

The Men in Red will return home for one game on Thursday as they play host to Dallas FC, Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm CT and you can catch the action live on CSN-Chicago.


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