Chicago Fire break the curse and pick up their first win on the road
Not even a lightning storm, delaying the game by a half-hour, was enough to prevent the Chicago Fire from obtaining their first road win of the season as the Men in Red got past the Houston Dynamo, 1-0.
Nemanja Nikolic scored the only goal of the game as the Hungarian flicked the ball past the Dynamo’s Tyler Deric following a cross from Nicolas Gaitan. It was his seventh goal of the season and first goal since the game against the New York Red Bulls back in late June.
For Nikolic, who has been lost his starting spot, that goal was a breath of fresh air.
Nico + Niko = NIKOOOOOOOO pic.twitter.com/Jio7YnWtaJ
— Chicago Fire (@ChicagoFire) August 4, 2019
It was the Fire’s first win on the road all season and their first win on the road in any competition since June of 2018 when they beat Atlanta United in the Open Cup.
Their last win away in league play was in May of 2018 against Orlando City. Simply put, it had been more than a full calendar year since the team was able to record a win away from SeatGeem Stadium.
The much-maligned Kenneth Kronholm picked up his second consecutive clean sheet making a handful of crucial saves in the process. Similar to Nikolic, this performance should do a lot for his confidence.
The law of averages meant that the Fire were bound to get a road win sooner or later and the Houston Dynamo were the perfect candidates to do just that.
The Dynamo came into the game having won only once in their last five games and coming off being shutout their last time out at home against the Seattle Sounders. The Fire were able to take advantage of that through good performances from the backline and a timely goal right before the end of the first half.
With the win, the Fire now find themselves six points behind the last playoff spot but having played one more game. In the long run, this win may not mean much in terms of their postseason hopes but it certainly eases some of the pressure. Those players know how much they have struggled on the road so finally getting that win is a positive in an otherwise bleak season.
The Fire know every win is important if they want to have a shot at the playoffs. They’ll now look for back-to-back wins when they return home to take on the Montreal Impact.