The two silver linings from Wednesday night’s game for the Chicago Fire are as follows: At least the home win streak is still intact, and at least the Fire don’t have to face Ignacio Piatti every game.
Wednesday night beheld a crushing 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Montreal Impact (9-8-6, 33 points) for the Chicago Fire (12-7-5, 41 points) at Stade Saputo in Montreal, Canada.
To make it simple: The Fire performed poorly, and the Impact capitalized on a team that couldn’t get anything going offensively or put up a remarkable defensive performance. Give credit where credit is due, head coach Mauro Biello and his squad came prepared to play in front of a rowdy home crowd, and possibly due to the home advantage, got his offense rolling early.
In the sixth minute, Montreal Midfielder Ignacio Piatti took control of a one-hop cross into the 18-yard box. He proceeded to take an elevated touch, and tapped a faint left-footed touch into the back of the net past goalkeeper Matt Lampson to give the Impact an early lead. That certainly wouldn’t be the last Piatti would be heard from in the game.
An early bell.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 16, 2017
The Impact would extend their lead further in the 36th minute, when Forward Matteo Mancosu booted a screaming penalty kick into the bottom left of the goal – the opposite direction that Lampson dove. Montreal had doubled their lead.
Not just a minute later, the Impact were on the attack again. Keep in mind, Chicago controlled nearly 70% of the possession during the game, but yet struggled to convert during their times with the ball into goals. Piatti confirmed he truly was the man of the match just a minute after their second goal.
The 32-year-old Argentinian striker gorgeously curled the ball past a diving Matt Lampson with his right foot on a breakaway. Keep in mind, he had three Fire defenders in his vicinity when he launched the ball towards the net. Textbook.
What. A. Goal.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 17, 2017
Both teams went scoreless in the second half, so the 3-0 Montreal score held good until the final three whistles were blown.
It was an overwhelmingly negative game for the Fire, as the loss dropped them to third place in the Eastern Conference standings, just two points behind New York FC and six points behind Toronto FC. It shouldn’t be cause for too much worry, as there is still plenty more regular season MLS soccer to come.
Two positive moments did occur for the Fire, when head coach Veljko Paunovic started rookie and Chicagoland local Djordje Mihailovic, a Midfielder who hails from Lemont, Ill for the first time this season. The distance between Mihailovic’s hometown and Toyota Park is just around 20 minutes, so Paunovic is truly a local. The second positive moment was seeing recently acquired defender Christian Dean see a lot of playing time in his first contest in a Chicago Fire uniform. 85 minutes worth, since Joao Meira went down in the fourth minute with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
The Impact will remain on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, barring a miracle, including their three-game winning streak continuing. Wednesday’s loss doesn’t mean too much for the Fire, as they will certainly make the playoffs this year, but seeding does matter, and it is certainly a priority for this Chicago Fire team.
Referees: Nima Saghafi (Head), Joe Fletcher (AR1), Logan Brown (AR2), Robert Sibiga (4th), Jon Freemon (Video)
Note: The Montreal Impact have been tearing it up as of late, as they currently possess a three-game win streak and have won those games on an aggregate score of 8-1.
Chicago Fire: Toronto FC vs. Chicago Fire – Toyota Park (Bridgeview, Illinois) – Saturday, August 19th @7:00 P.M. CT (CSN Chicago)
Montreal Impact: Real Salt Lake vs. Montreal Impact – Stade Saputo (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) – Saturday, August 19 @7:30 P.M. ET (TVA Sports, 98.5 FM, TSN 690)