Chicago continues climb up Eastern Conference with win over Montreal

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

The Montreal Impact entered Toyota Park on Saturday night holding onto their playoff hopes by a thread, as they faced a Chicago Fire team looking to continue their climb up the Eastern Conference standings. It wasn't meant to be for Montreal, however, as Chicago would best the Impact on the night behind goals from Sherjill MacDonald, Alex, and Alvaro Fernandez.

Montreal, perhaps feeling they had nothing to lose, pressed early in the match, taking the lead on a Marco Di Vaio goal in the 20th minute. In spite of Montreal controlling the match early, Chicago battled back, as they've done often in the season, with a first half equalizer by Sherjill MacDonald. 

The second half showed Chicago to be more composed and in control and they were rewarded for their efforts behind a game-winning goal by Brazilian midfielder Alex in the 61st minute. Chicago put the game away for good in the 80th minute when Chris Rolfe found Alvaro Fernandez wide open from 11 yards out for the easy finish after some nice possession by the Fire.

While the Impact's loss inches them one step closer to missing the playoffs in their inaugural MLS season, Chicago now moves into sole possession of 2nd place in a tight Eastern Conference race that's shaping up to be exciting to watch down the stretch.

Here are the match highlights:

 

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What do you think of the Fire's 3-1 win over the Impact? Do you see Montreal as still being a team capable of reaching the postseason? Impressed with Chicago's victory?

Share your thoughts below.

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6 Responses to Chicago continues climb up Eastern Conference with win over Montreal

  1. MLSsnob says:

    Nice win for Chicago, now only a point behind KC for the eastern conference lead. Suppporters Shield is not out of the question.

  2. hogatroge says:

    Man is this Chicago team hard to root for. Another game in which they’ve been outpossessed and outshot (at home to boot) and still earn a win by a substantial margin. Can’t be a fluke if they’ve done it consistently all season, though.

    Hoping my Dynamo can get another crack at them after coming up short in the season-long series.

  3. Adrian says:

    What? Outshot by 1?

    Fire had 14 shots, 7 on goal. How can you not root for that type of strong offense? Outpossessed by 7% bothers you?

  4. Steev says:

    This Chicago team works incredibly hard for each other, doesn’t seem to have any egos, gets goals from practically every player (even Pause has one this year) and when they score they don’t need to be told celebrate in front of their bench. I find this Chicago team easier to root for than any that have been here in quite a while.

  5. Kempo says:

    Alex is the key down the stretch

  6. Eric says:

    Rolfe has to be working himself back into consideration for the National team, he has been awesome since rejoining the Fire