September 15, 2012
by Kathryn L. Knapp
SPARKING THE FIRE
Attacking trio earns 3-1 win for Chicago
BRIDGEVIEW. Ill. Ė Chicagoís winning streak continued Saturday night at Toyota Park. Sparked by goals from Sherjill MacDonald, Alex and Alvaro Fernandez, the Fire earned a 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact. The win marked their third straight as the hunt for the playoffs continues.
|Alex scored to help spark a 3-1 Chicago Fire win over the Montreal Impact.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Montreal put on the pressure from the first whistle. And they didnít let up until they took the lead. Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson made five saves in the first 18 minutes.
Chicago finally got a shot on the board in the 12th minute, when a flick back to Alex was blasted at goal. Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins grabbed it for the save. Minutes later, Patrick Nyarko was taken down while running toward the ball. Chicago earned a free kick on the play. Alex lifted the ball right into the goalmouth, where Impact 'keeper Troy Perkins grabbed it for the save.
But before the Fire could break through, Montrealís sixth shot on goal gave them a 1-0 lead. Hassoun Camara sent the ball into the center of the box, where Marco Di Vaio was waiting. Di Vaio beat two Fire defenders, drilling the ball into the net.
Chicago evened things up in the 34th minute. Logan Pause forwarded the ball to Jalil Anibaba on the right side of the box. Anibaba sent it in to Sherjill MacDonald, who headed it home. Chris Rolfe nearly doubled the home teamís score seconds later, when he rocketed an attempt at goal. Perkins grabbed it for the save.
Montreal didnít sit back. The Impact rushed toward the opposing goal. Johnson came out of the box, getting a hand on the ball redirecting it out of harmís way. Nyassi rushed to its rescue, guarded by Anibaba. Both players slid into the goal, while Nyassi caught his left foot with the post.
After a slow start to the second half, Chicago created some fireworks in the 61st minute. Alvaro Fernandez crossed the ball to Alex, who settled it and shot a high ball into the net for a 2-1 Fire advantage.
Chicago took control again in the 80th minute. Rolfe crossed the ball into the box, where Fernandez easily placed it into the bottom of the net for a 3-1 Fire lead.
With a two-goal deficit, Montreal turned up the heat for the remainder of the match. But the Men in Red stood strong in front of the goal silencing any opportunities by the Impact. Di Vaio had the best look late in the match, blasting the ball wide right in the 88th minute.
The Fire (15-8-5, 50 points) earned their third straight win. During the month of September, Chicago owns a 3-0 record, while outscoring opponents 8-3. Montreal (12-15-13, 39 points) remains seventh in the MLS East.
The Fire host the Columbus Crew next Saturday at 7:30 p.m.