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Fire edge D.C. United 1-0, snap skid

Sportsnaut
Jun 18, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Fire FC midfielder Gaston Gimenez (30) controls the ball against DC United midfielder Sofiane Djeffal (13) in the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Fabian Herbers was credited with a successful header in the 78th minute and the Chicago Fire snapped a 10-game winless stretch with Saturday night’s 1-0 victory over visiting D.C. United.

After failing to convert several high-level scoring chances throughout the night, the Fire (3-7-5, 14 points) finally broke through late. Off a ball from teammate Kacper Przybylko, Herbers’ header floated over leaping D.C. United goalkeeper Rafael Romo and just across the line.

Chicago, which maintained 52.6 percent of the possession, created seven shots on goal and conceded none to United (4-8-2, 14 points). The Fire snapped an 0-7-3 rut dating to its 3-1 home victory over Sporting Kansas City on March 19.

Two of Chicago’s three 2022 wins have come against D.C., which remained frustrated while dropping to 0-3-2 in its last five league matches. United is 1-4-1 on the road this season.

Chicago held nearly 71 percent of the possession through the first 15 minutes, but the best quality scoring chance came from D.C. in the 13th. However, Steven Birnbaum’s straight-on header cleared well high of the crossbar.

The Fire, though, countered on Brian Gutierrez’s side shot that was saved by Romo at 21 minutes.

Moments later, Chicago’s Chris Mueller hit the near post on a cross. Then Romo, again, stopped Gutierrez in a one-on-one situation in the 31st.

After placing nine shots on target in the first half, the Fire failed on a seemingly perfect cross in the early moments of the second half. Chicago nearly found itself with a prime opportunity via free kick that Romo got a hand on in the 57th minute.

Though Chicago keeper Gaga Slonina did not make an official save, he was credited with a sixth clean sheet of the season — and the club’s first since a scoreless draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy on April 16.

The Fire prevailed despite playing without star Xherdan Shaqiri (three goals, six assists) due to a hamstring issue.

–Field Level Media