Chicago Fire 1, Philadelphia Union 0 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
The Chicago Fire have their first win of the Veljko Paunovic era.
Fueled by a 51st-minute strike from Kennedy Igboananike, the Fire (1-1-2) defeated the 10-man Philadelphia Union, 1-0, on Saturday at Toyota Park, snapping Philly’s two-game winning streak.
Igboananike, whose brilliant turn and left-footed blast beat the otherwise stellar Andre Blake, scored the game's only goal just a few minutes after Warren Creavalle was shown a red card for an ugly tackle from behind on Chicago’s Razvan Cocis.
Before then, the Union (2-2-0) had generated most of the scoring chances, hitting the post or crossbar on three separate occasions.
1. WILD WEATHER: First, it was sunny. Then, there was a blizzard. Then, it was sunny again. Then, there was more snow. And, well, you get the point. The Windy City weather can be unpredictable but even this seemed crazy by Chicago standards. Both teams struggled at times to find a flow in the snowy, windy conditions, combining for five total shots on target.
2. MOMENTUM SHIFT: Red cards, of course, always change a game. But you could probably say Creavalle's 47th-minute send-off changed this game more than most. Only moments before the card, Ilsinho hit a rocket off the crossbar, continuing the momentum from late in the first half when C.J. Sapong struck woodwork twice. The Union had far fewer chances after going down to 10 men, giving away a game in which they easily could have earned points.
3. OWNING THE UNION: The Fire may not have played the perfect game, but they are now undefeated in their last seven league matchups vs. the Union. That's an impressive feat. And it's probably a little extra special for first-year Fire head coach Paunovic to earn his first MLS win against the team he played for in 2011, the final professional season in a career that spanned more than 15 years.
They Said It
"Whatever happened last year, we're just going to correct it this year. Last year wasn't good for us, so we're moving ahead."
—Kennedy Igboananike, Chicago Fire
CHI: Sunday at New York City FC (7 pm ET, FS1, MLS LIVE)
PHI: Friday vs. Orlando City SC (7 pm ET, UniMas, MLS LIVE)