RSL, Fire play to scoreless draw at Toyota Park

RSLFire (Getty)

BY JEFFREY KRAUSE

The Chicago Fire went into Wednesday night's match against Real Salt Lake hoping to build on their dramatic road victory against Chivas USA, but they wound up settling for a draw as their offense couldn't match the play of their organized defense.

Chicago failed to really test back-up RSL goalkeeper Kyle Reynish as the visitors from Utah left Toyota Park with a road point in Wednesday night's 0-0 tie.

“I thought we had a good start to the game," said Fire head coach Frank Klopas. "Throughout the game we lost a little momentum.  We forced the ball at times.  I think that we didn’t have the ability to be quick in transition and switch the point of attack.

"As a team, we didn’t give anything away and we were good defensively," Klopas said. "You have one or two opportunities that you have to put away against a very good team, and that’s what the game comes down to.”

Dominic Oduro nearly gave the home side the lead in the 4th minute on a header off a Patrick Nyarko cross. Oduro was wide open in front of goal, but blasted his header off the crossbar.

Chicago continued to press early, as Marco Pappa and Gonzalo Segares combined to free up Pappa with a great chance, bur Reynish stopped Pappa's 10th-minute shot.

Real Salt Lake came close to scoring in the 16th minute, when Paulo Junior pounced on a sloppy turnover before sending a shot wide of goal. RSL created another scoring chance in the 24th minute, this time off a nice chip from Javier Morales that found Alvaro Saborio, who sent the ball just wide.

The rest of the match was a back-and-forth affair, with neither side being able to take control. The teams combined for just four shots on goal, none of the truly dangerous variety.

The Fire defense played well in posting their second shutout of the season. Their first clean sheet in five matches.

“The whole backline has done really well communicating and I thought this was a good game," said Fire defender Austin Berry. "We did our part and got the shutout this time, so I thought it was a really good showing by us.”

Chicago must now focus on Saturday's showdown vs. Eastern Conference-leading Sporting Kansas City. Sporting KC will be coming in on full rest, but have dropped two straight matches after starting the season with an eight-match winning streak.

Real Salt Lake will take on Seattle on Saturday in a showdown between the top two teams in the Western Conference.

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5 Responses to RSL, Fire play to scoreless draw at Toyota Park

  1. Mike says:

    That was a gross, gross game.

    And for as fast as Oduro, he has the technical ability of an average college player. I’ve never seen someone so fast and so bad. It’s like Walcott but worse.

  2. Hincha Tim says:

    I think professional soccer (and the MLS) should mandate that a 0-0 match results in 0 points for either team (in other words you need to be able to gain a point).

  3. David St. Hubbins says:

    that game was awful… not so much great defending as just awful awful attacking… lots of open shots going way high and wide, poor service, etc.

  4. Vinz Clortho says:

    I listened to parts of the first half and felt it would likely end 0-0. I guess I was right…

  5. Allen23 says:

    I was at the game and while scoring chances were few and far between, it was not a bad match. Both teams have strong midfields and it was hard for either team to break it down. There was a fair amount of counter-attacking, but the defenses were up to the task. Also I liked the Ref. as he let a lot of play go on. He went 22 minutes before he stopped play for a foul.

    I will agree that this was not a strong showing by Oduro, as his touch let him down on a few counters. I wonder if he was fatigued from Friday nights game.