Chicago Fire 1, Philadelphia Union 0 | MLS Match Recap
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – A set-piece header from Adailton pushed the Chicago Fire past the Philadelphia Union 1-0 before a crowd of 12,815 at Toyota Park on Sunday, a physical match between two teams looking for their first win of the season on a typically cold Chicago spring afternoon.
Chicago controlled much of the first half in possession and scoring chances, as they never allowed Philadelphia to find a rhythm through much of the first 45 minutes.
That control would pay off for the Fire in the 37th minute, when a Harry Shipp free kick found the head of Adailton, the Brazilian center back applying a glancing touch to the inswinging delivery that stranded Union goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi in no-man's-land.
Philadelphia striker Fernando Aristeguieta kept Chicago's backline in check, attempting numerous times to break the offside trap in the first half, but to no avail. The Union's best chance came in the 30th minute, when Andrew Wenger found his way through the Chicago defense, only to lay the ball off to Aristeguieta, who cut the opposite way. The miscommunication squandered what should have been an open look on goal.
The Union came out more organized in the second half, but had to fend off more Chicago attacks as the game progressed. Mbolhi made a vital kick save to keep the Chicago lead at one goal after Shipp sent a weighted ball through the box to Kennedy Igboananike, whose well-struck shot was parried out of play.
The game would shift even more in Chicago's favor in the 72nd minute, when Philadelphia went down a man for the remaining 18 minutes after substitute Fred was shown a straight red card for a swing at Shipp.
Philadelphia would continue to press despite being shorthanded, but Sean Johnson was rarely tested in the Chicago net as the Fire claimed their first win of the season and ended an 0-3 start to 2015.
Next up for Philadelphia is a game on the road against Sporting Kansas City, while Chicago will face Toronto FC at home.