Los Angeles Football Club 0, Chicago Fire 0 | 2019 MLS Match Recap
At the heart of the game’s two best chances was Chicago striker Nemanja Nikolic.
In the 28th minute, the Hungarian's goal-line clearance and emergency defending kept Jordan Harvey and Christian Ramirez from sending Banc of California Stadium into a frenzy. Nikolic then nearly silenced the home crowd in the 54th minute, but he couldn’t turn home an Aleksandar Katai cross. In fairness to the 2017 MLS Golden Boot winner, it was played behind him in the six-yard box.
Just prior, LAFC thought it had the breakthrough in the 53rd minute with a sliding finish from right back Steven Beitashour. However, the strike was correctly called back on account of Beitashour being offside.
As LAFC pushed pushed for their sixth straight win at home, they carried the possession battle 64 percent to 36 percent. But Chicago seemed happy to sit deep and look for chances on the counter. Fire goalkeeper David Ousted made four saves.
- THE BIG PICTURE: For the first time in 2019, Western Conference leaders LAFC didn't secure three points at home. Bob Bradley’s team, which has scored four or more goals four teams this season, was held off the scoresheet for the second time in four games. Chicago, meanwhile, is surely looking at this as a solid point earned. They’ll now return home for two straight matches, so momentum will need to translate into wins at SeatGeek Stadium.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Nemanja Nikolic’s goal-line clearance in the first half proved massive in the end, as it kept the scoreline knotted at 0-0. If LAFC found a breakthrough, then the floodgates could have opened. Instead, Chicago posted their second shutout of 2019.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Przemyslaw Frankowski was signed from Polish club Jagiellonia Bialystok this past offseason using Targeted Allocation Money, with the intention of playing winger. But head coach Veljko Paunovic deployed Frankowski at right back in a starting XI decision that raised a few eyebrows. The 24-year-old held his own and then some, helping keep LAFC winger Diego Rossi relatively quiet. Talk about stepping up to the occasion.