FC Cincinnati 0, Chicago Fire 0 | 2019 MLS Match Recap

The Chicago Fire, needing a win to stay in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, could only muster a 0-0 draw against FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium on Saturday evening.

It was a promising but ultimately frustrating first half for the Fire as they had an apparent Nemanja Nikolic goal ruled offside in the 15th minute, and couldn't get a goal otherwise despite six shots (to FCC's three) and six corner kicks (to FCC's zero) in the first 45.

The frustration would continue in the second half. Fire coach Veljko Paunovic attempted to jump start the offense with two subs, including a surprising move to bring in young U.S. international Djordje Mihailovic for Nicolas Gaitan, and a more conventional Aleksandar Katai for CJ Sapong sub.

FC Cincinnati managed a flurry of late activity where they looked the better threat to get on the board, including shots from Roland Lamah and Emmanuel Ledesma forcing diving saves from a previously-untroubled Kenneth Kronholm. In the end, though, neither team could score.


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Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: For FC Cincinnati, the big win in keeping a clean sheet is that they live to fight another day in trying to ward off the record for most goals allowed in a season, which they tied on Wednesday. This sets up a match next Sunday with Orlando City SC ... with whom they share the record. For the Fire, a win would have brought them closer to the #7 spot occupied by the Revs, who also could only manage a scoreless draw. They're not out of the playoff race yet.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Maikel van der Werff actually came closest to a goal, getting his head on a Ledesma cross in the 80th minute and bouncing it off the crossbar.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Kronholm didn't have a lot to do until he had a lot to do, but even as the offense was letting the Fire (and their fans) down, he made saves, kept his head, and allowed his team to escape with a point.

Next Up

  • CIN: Sunday, Sept. 29 vs Orlando City SC (5 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+, DAZN in Canada)
  • CHI: Sunday, Sept. 29 vs. Toronto FC (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+, DAZN in Canada)
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