Fire 1 Impact 0 - recap and ratings

The Fire were finally able to do something against a 10-man squad, short handed squad and breathe a collective sigh of relief following a 1-0 victory in Montreal. Missing David Accam due to injury and Dax McCarty on international duty, the Fire weren't playing with a full roster either and both sides approached this game with a conservative game plan.

Montreal seemed intent on focusing their efforts to pressure and physically challenge Bastian Schweinsteiger at every opportunity and that strategy backfired on them when referee Baldomero Toledo changed a yellow card call on Deian Boldor in the 59th to a straight red after video review. Both teams sat back and looked to play the counter from the start, which made for some difficult watching and very few clear chances.

Schweinsteiger buried his chance nine minutes after Boldor's expulsion and the Fire had another chance two minutes later before the team settled back and claimed their third win of the season on the road.

The victory places them eight points ahead of the seventh place Impact and seems to settle their playoff prospects ahead of another important game against the New York Red Bulls next weekend.

The Fire can exhale for now.

Player ratings

GK Matt Lampson (6) - Only faced two shots on target with the defense able to limit clean looks against Montreal. In the right spot for Piatti's late attempt in stoppage time and cut down on the unforced turnovers.

D Patrick Doody (6) - The Impact's right side provided little going forward with most of the attacking channeling through Piatti on the other side. Limited Romero for most of the time he was on the field.

D Jonathan Campbell (6) - Defending was made easier with the Fire sitting back and looking to counter but the unit did well to limit and challenge most shots.

D Johan Kappelhof (6) - There were some half chances early in the first half for Mancosu but not much else. Kappelhof got a piece of his best look in the 18th minute by deflecting a shot out for a corner kick.

D Matt Polster (6.5) - Got some help from midfield in shutting down the side where Piatti usually does most of his work and contributed with a good run and assist on the only goal of the game.

M Bastian Schweinsteiger (7) - Took a beating as the focus of persistent fouling and kept his cool before a red card was issued to Boldor in the 50th minute. Clean finish in the 59th provided the only goal and the game winner. Set up another good chance with a perfectly placed lead pass to de Leeuw in the 61st.

M Juninho (6) - Helped fill the spaces in the midfield where Piatti does his damage and kept possession when needed. Not spectacular but did was needed and asked for in a conservative game plan that worked.

M Djordje Mihailovic (6) - A few issues with turnovers and a bad touch here or there but his switch to Polster in the 59th led to the goal. Good tackle on Piatti late in the game stopped a chance.

F Luis Solignac (5.5) - Active in the first half but couldn't generate much in the final third. Very little in the second half.

F Michael de Leeuw (6) - A cross in the 61st narrowly missed Nikolic and a second goal. As the Fire dropped back to counter, he helped fill the areas in front of Piatti.

F Nemanja Nikolic (5.5) - Not many chances or looks on goal but a decent cross on the ground in the 27th could have resulted in a goal with a far pot run.

M Drew Conner (5) - Replaced Schweinsteiger in the 79th after he went down with an apparent quad injury.

M Arturo Alvarez (5.5) - Came on in the 90th for Mihailovic and his shot following a loose ball in stoppage time was deflected by Bush and cleared from the line by Fisher.

D Brandon Vincent (5) - Subbed in for Doody in the 89th after he left with an apparent leg injury.

Filed under: 2017 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire

Comments

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  • Better possession without Accam playing like he did early in the season. Lately he's been back to taking on 3 defenders and not looking to pass, so I was glad to see this lineup, especially with Polster back and Campbell in and Dean out. I don't know what Campbell has done to get put behind Dean, but it's not a good evaluation by Pauno. A couple inches of height is not worth the flat footed defensive play. Would also rather see Alvarez over Solignac, who while talented up front, is not as strong defensively.

  • This result was a pleasant surprise.

  • Lampson's save of Piatti's shot at the very end was the save of his life. Piatti's ability to get a shot off, on target, with pace is frightening. The guy has the fastest trigger in MLS. Polster's presence clearly made a huge difference. Campbell is a solid defender and would be even better if he had been given the minutes he deserves. Frankly, I think there is a serious problem with Pauno because it is clear to me that Campbell should be playing over Meira. Kap and Campbell play well together and formed a great partnership last year. Did Campbell get sent to the dog house because Dean should never have made the starting 11 yet he started against MNUFC? That decision cost the Fire that game.

    Vincent's cameo at the end also demonstrated how much he has developed as a player. He was able to control the left side the minute he came on. Looking forward to him giving NYRB fits this weekend.

  • Any word on Schweinsteiger? Is his injury going to keep him from playing on Saturday? or worse?

  • In reply to edubs:

    I've been told that it wasn't serious. We'll see at training this week.

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