Cleat Geeks

Six Alarm Fire: Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union

The Chicago Fire picked up its first win of the 2016 regular season with a 1-0 victory over longtime Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon. The victory marked the second consecutive shutout for the Fire, as well as Veljko Paunovic’s first win as Fire head coach.CHI-v-PHI

The match got off to a slow start, as the first half ended with neither team scoring a goal. Union midfielder Warren Creavalle was shown a yellow card at the 13th minute. This yellow card proved costly, as he was shown a second yellow card at the 47th minute and was promptly sent off. That was not the only yellow card that was shown in the first half, as Brazilian U-20 star and Chicago defender Rodrigo Ramos was also booked in the 37th minute.

Kennedy-Igboananike,-Chicago-Fire,-in-CHIvMTLJust five minutes after Creavalle was ejected from the match, Fire striker and Nigerian international Kennedy Igboananike took a pass into the box and turned it into a beautiful finish to the far post, giving the Fire a 1-0 lead.

Igboananike almost scored a second time in the 66th minute, but was called “offside” just as the ball hit the net.

The Union would not give up hope of a comeback, as Union players fired nearly 20 shots at Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson; however, only three of those shots were on-target, and all three ended up safely in the hands of Lampson.ChicagoFireMattLampson

Lampson recorded his second clean sheet in his first season in Chicago, while rookie center back Jonathan Campbell has led one of Major League Soccer’s best defensive units – the Fire have allowed just one goal in its past three matches.

An area to improve for the Fire would be at the forward position – Chicago has scored twice in three matches, as the Fire have been kept in games largely through the efforts of the club’s stout defensive play.Harry-Shipp-and-Kennedy-Iboananike-celebrate-for-Chicago-Fire-vs.-Montreal

The Chicago Fire will look to keep their three-match unbeaten streak alive as they travel to the Big Apple to take on second-year side New York City FC at historic Yankee Stadium. That match will be televised live on Fox Sports 1, with kickoff scheduled for April 10th at 7PM.

The Union will return to Philadelphia for a Friday night showdown against another second-year side in Orlando City SC.

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