CHICAGO, IL—There were times over the last few seasons where the Fire were architects of their own demise via its defense. Saturday was a throwback to those times as the Fire gifted FC Cincinnati two goals in a 2-1 defeat at Soldier Field. The Fire’s winless streak is now eight in all competitions and the losing streak is now at four matches.
The first gift came in the 34th minute after Rafael Czichos accidentally headed past an off-line Gaga Slonina into the net for an own goal after what seemed like an innocuous long ball into the area,
The Fire’s offense once again struggled to find the net despite a more positive attack with the insertion of Chris Mueller and later Jairo Torres. However, their attack was finally rewarded in the 83rd minute after Jhon Duran headed in one of what would be 13 corners for the Fire on the evening.
Two minutes later, disaster struck again. Slonina misplayed a back pass from Gaston Gimenez and turned it right over to Luciano Acosta who made no mistake from 12 yards out to give FC Cincinnati their fourth straight win.
Fire head coach Ezra Hendrickson warned about growing pains at the start of this season, but this loss is especially tough feeling his team deserved at least a point for his efforts.
“Well it’s one of those things where we’re going through the rough right now,” said Hendrickson. “And we just got to find a way to get ourselves out of it. I thought tonight we had a great opportunity coming back at home, conference opponent. I felt like the guys were up for it. But you know when you give up two goals like that, it’s really hard to win in this league, so we just got to get back to doing what we’re doing at first, which is, you know, keeping clean sheets, limiting chances for opponents and then get some goals on the other end. But right now it’s pretty rough times and then handing them two goals like that tonight, you’re not going to win too many games in this league when you do that. So that’s something that we have to get better at.”
The Fire have a quick turnaround before traveling to New Jersey on Wednesday to face New York Red Bulls. Kickoff is at 6:30pm on WGN-TV.
CIN-Rafael Czichos (own goal) 34
CHI-Jhon Duran (Shaqiri) 83
CIN-Luciano Acosta (unassisted) 85
CIN-Junior Moreno (caution, reckless foul) 7
CIN-Luciano Acosta (caution, dissent) 20
CHICAGO FIRE (4-2-3-1): #1-Gaga Slonina; #2-Boris Sekulic, #5-Rafael Czichos, #20-Wyatt Omsberg, #3-Jonathan Bornstein (#14-Jhon Espinoza 83); #31-Federico Navarro, #30-Gaston Gimenez; #8-Chris Mueller (#7-Jairo Torres 71), #10-Xherdan Shaqiri, #21-Fabian Herbers (#40-Brian Gutierrez 60); #9-Chinoso Offor (#26-Jhon Duran 60)
Subs not used: #34-Chris Brady, #99-Stanislav Ivanov, #23-Carlos Teran, #36-Andre Reynolds, 22-Mauricio Pineda, #14-Jhon Espinoza, #7-Jairo Torres
FC CINCINNATI (4-2-3-1): #18-Roman Celentano; #2-Alvas Powell, #4-Nick Hagglund, #32-Ian Murphy, #3-John Nelson; #5-Obinna Nwobodo, #93-Junior Moreno; #14-Dominique Badji (#29-Arquimides Ordonez 66), #10-Luciano Acosta (#6-Haris Mendunjanin 89), #31-Alvaro Barreal (#24-Tyler Blackett 75); #19-Brandon Vazquez
Subs not used: #25-Kenneth Vermeer, #20-Geoff Cameron, #35-Harrison Robledo, #28-Ray Gaddis, #16-Zico Bailey, #33-Nick Markanich
TOTAL SHOTS: CHI 17-9 CIN
SHOTS ON GOAL: CHI 5-3 CIN
FOULS: CHI 12-13 CIN
OFFSIDES: CHI 2-3 CIN
CORNER KICKS: CHI 13-2 CIN
SAVES: CHI 1-4 CIN
Referee: Tori Penso
Assistant Referees: Kevin Klinger, Brooke Mayo
Fourth Official: Calin Radosav
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez
Weather: Sunny and 75º
Man of the Match: Luciano Acosta (CIN)