Chicago Fire 2, FC Dallas 0 | MLS Match Recap
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Chicago Fire made a mockery of the standings on Sunday night, as the Eastern Conference stragglers scored a comprehensive 2-0 win over FC Dallas, who entered the weekend leading MLS and riding a five-game winning streak.
Goals from Designated Players David Accam and Shaun Maloney gave Chicago their sixth victory of the year, moving the Fire out of last place in the East. The result brought a shuddering halt to Dallas’ impressive winning streak and allowed the Fire to retain the Brimstone Cup for another year.
The Fire got off to a dream start, taking the lead in the fourth minute through Accam. The Ghanaian ran onto a through ball in the right side of the area, leaving a Dallas defender in the dust before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and inside the near post from a tight angle to give Chicago the early advantage.
Opportunities were few and far between following Accam’s opener, with neither side able to create anything of note until Kennedy made a stop on Accam in the 56th minute. Kennedy came up with another save in the 63rd, using his chest to deny Fire forward Jason Johnson’s close range volley.
Substitute Kennedy Igboananike should have doubled the Fire’s lead in the 72nd minute, breaking through on goal after an FC Dallas defender slipped only to hit his 12-yard effort well wide.
The Fire, who have struggled to close out games all season, put themselves in a bit of trouble in the 79th minute, when substitute midfielder Matt Watson was shown a straight red card for a wild lunge on fellow sub Rolando Escobar.
Dallas failed to capitalize on the man advantage, giving up a second goal in the 85th minute after midfielder Kellyn Acosta fouled Igboananike just inside the area, prompting referee Jair Marrufo to point to the spot. Maloney buried the ensuing penalty kick, putting his shot past the outstretched Kennedy and into the lower left corner to ensure all three points for the Fire.
Chicago – which moved past Philadelphia and into ninth in the East with the win – return to MLS action next Friday, when they’ll take on the Portland Timbers in a nationally televised match at Providence Park. Dallas has next week off, returning to league play on August 15 at home against the LA Galaxy.