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Chicago Fire 0, Montreal Impact 0 | MLS Match Recap

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The two teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings showed exactly why they will not be in the playoff picture after a lackluster draw at Toyota Park on Sunday.

Knowing only a win would keep them in tenuous contention for a place in the postseason, the Chicago Fire (5-8-18, 33 pts) failed to capitalize on the few chances they had as they extended their MLS tie record to 18. The Montreal Impact (6-18-7, 25 pts) will feel aggrieved by a questionable offside call which ruled out Jack McInerney’s wonderful 38th-minute overhead kick.

With the result the Fire are now eliminated from MLS Cup Playoff contention.

The Fire were the first to threaten in the ninth minute, when Lovel Palmer’s beautifully weighted cross from the right found Quincy Amarikwa, whose header was spectacularly saved by Evan Bush.   

Montreal’s Eric Miller was lucky to escape without any type of caution after a reckless challenge left Patrick Nyarko hurting in the 20th minute.

Gorka Larrea had two good opportunities for Frank Klopas’ men before the Impact were denied an opener seven minutes before the break when McInerney was ruled offside.

Miller’s cross from the left picked out Justin Mapp, who in turn found McInerney and although his acrobatic overhead kick found the net, the goal was ruled out for an offside call against Mapp.

Frank Yallop’s men could have taken the lead two minutes before the break when Nyarko’s cross from the right found Amarikwa, his wayward header falling invitingly for Florent Sinama-Pongolle on the six yard line, but the Frenchman’s point-blank shot was superbly saved by Bush. 

A drab second half produced few scoring chances, with former Fire midfielder Dilly Duka setting Calum Mallace up in the 80th minute, but Sean Johnson was equal to his attempt.

A frantic final few minutes saw Fire substitute Matt Fondy almost set Gonzalo Segares up for a late winner while Johnson had to be alert at the other end to keep Impact sub Marco Di Vaio out as the sides had to settle for a point each.

Next up for the Fire is a road trip to Sporting Kansas City on Friday, while the Impact host the New England Revolution a day later. 

Rank Player What We Saw
1 Evan Bush Made three big saves to keep the Fire off the scoresheet. Collected his third clean sheet of the season.
2 Jeff Larentowicz Calm, cool, and collected. Big Red was the leader along the Fire backline.
3 Calum Mallace The Scotsman has been one of the Impact's top players coming down the stretch and showed why again against the Fire.

 

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