Fabian Herbers scored the only goal of the game as the Fire beat Nashville SC 1-0 to kick off a crucial three-game home stretch.
Both teams opted to keep their top scores on the bench with Nashville deciding to start the game without Hany Mukhtar, the MLS leader in goals.
The visitors took control of the game early with possession but the Fire kept them at bay. Rafael Czichos played a significant role in that as Nashville came close to open the score in the 13th minute but Czichos blocked Teal Bunbury’s back-to-back attempts.
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The Fire took advantage of a Nashville mistake in the 34th minute.
Trying to play out from the back, Jack Maher’s poor pass was intercepted by Herbers. Herbers laid the ball off to Maren Haile-Selassie who cut it back near the penalty spot to Herbers who slotted home.
It was Herbers’ third goal in the last four games.
The second half played out similar to the first but with Nashville managing some shots on goal. Despite having seven shots in the first half, none were on goal.
The closest Nashville came to equalizing was in the 72nd minute.
Mukhtar’s shot hit the post but the ensuing rebound fell to Bunbury who saw his shot blocked. The Fire weren’t out of the woods quite yet as a shot by Luke Haakenson went tantalizingly close but wide.
Five minutes of stoppage time was added but Nashville never came close to finding the equalizer.
The Fire picked up their first win over Nashville in five attempts with Nashville having won two and drawn two.
The win also sees the Fire rise to 11th place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points, tied with four other teams. Goal differential is what is separating them and Montréal for ninth place and an MLS playoff spot.
It’s a quick turnaround for Chicago as they play midweek, on Wednesday, when they host the aforementioned Montréal.