Chicago Fire 0-0 D.C. United: Ugly, ugly, ugly
Photo via @ChicagoFire on Twitter

The points were shared at Soldier Field on Saturday night as the Chicago Fire drew 0-0 at home to D.C. United

Both teams had a few chances over the course of the night, but in general the match was very ugly. There were mistakes, fouls, and wasted opportunities. It was rough, and each side will be disappointed with their respective performances.

Story of the match

Chicago was better to start the contest. They had more of the ball, and they looked more dangerous in the final third. 

D.C. had the first real opportunity, though. Mateusz Klich picked out Christian Benteke with a lovely ball, and the forward’s turn was just as nice. The finish wasn’t, however, as he ended up toe-poking a weak effort right at the goalkeeper.

The next chance came moments later. A cross towards the back post was headed back across goal by Kacper Przybyłko right to Chris Mueller, and he headed it towards goal. His effort looked good at first, but it ended up going wide of the frame.

You would’ve thought that those two openings would lead to the game bursting into life, but it instead slowed up incredibly.

We finally had another highlight in the 58th minute. Taxiarchis Fountas and Benteke linked up well, and it led to the former finding space on the edge of the area. He rushed things, though, and a tame shot was easily saved by Chris Brady.

D.C. came close again five minutes later. A free-kick whipped into the area by Klich picked out Steve Birnbaum, but he couldn’t get his header on target.

They kept pushing forward, and Fountas really grew into the contest. First he was seemingly taken down in the area, but the referee decided not to call anything. Then he tried to take matters into his own hands, as he drove forward on the ball before blasting a shot from distance. He beat the keeper, but he was denied by the post.

That flurry was all the visitors could produce for the rest of the night. Chicago had a half-chance late on when a corner found Mueller, but once again he failed to direct a header towards frame.

The final highlight came in the last few moments. A cross got to Kei Kamara, and his header was on target, but his effort was saved heroically by Tyler Miller.

Takeaways

There wasn’t much of a crowd for the contest, but can you blame those in Chicago? The weather was bad, and this team hasn’t given them much to support over the past few years. It’ll be interesting to see if things pick up in the next two games, which are both at Soldier Field. 

The Fire showed highlights of other MLS games during breaks in play, which was weird, and kind of tinpot. Why should anyone in the stadium care if New England scored against New York?

They then showed highlights of the NCAA Final Four game. Utterly ridiculous.

I will be 80-years-old and Tyler Miller will still be an active player on an MLS roster.

Referee Pierre Luce Lauziere did not have a great game, and both sets of players grew frustrated as a result. It wasn’t too shocking to see them eventually turn on each other.

Gastón Giménez is not good enough.

Yamil Asad was completely invisible on the night. His team’s tactical set up didn’t help his cause, to be fair, but he was still a shell of himself.

Is Arnaud Souquet simply Boris Sekulić in disguise?

Neither team will be happy with what took place, but the Fire should be especially disappointed. They were the ones at home, yet they were second-best when it mattered most. This season might be slipping away already.

Man of the match - The fans

Bless anyone who supports either of these two sides.

This game was so bad and so ugly that it genuinely upset me, and I’m just a neutral journalist covering the contest.

I shouldn’t have expected anything different considering how the last few years have gone for both clubs, to be fair.

To those who care about the respective sides, I salute you.

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