WASHINGTON, D.C.(May 20, 2017) – The Chicago Fire (6-3-3, 21 points) earned their first road victory of the 2017 season with a 1-0 defeat of D.C. United (3-6-2, 11 points) at RFK Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The win was the Fire’s third straight, and moved them into second place in the Eastern Conference standings at the match’s final whistle.
Physicality was the theme of the first half, as the two teams combined for 17 fouls before the halftime whistle blew. Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic relied on the same starting eleven from a 3-0 mid-week win over Colorado and was rewarded with 61% of the possession in the first 45 minutes, but ultimately no goals.
MLS Golden Boot leader Nemanja Nikolic created the team’s best pair of chances to open scoring, first with a slick through-ball to David Accam in the 15th minute that ended up a touch too far out of the on-running Ghanaian’s open look at D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid’s net. The second came in the 29th minute, when right back Matt Polster set up Nikolic for a chance in the center of the D.C. 18-yard box, but United defender Chris Korb’s desperation slide denied the attempt on frame as the teams entered the half level at 0-0.
Accam broke through for the game’s only goal in the 52nd minute, breaking away on a trademark dribble from the center circle via a pass over-the-top from Luis Solignac. Accam was able to square up once inside Hamid’s box and coolly finish to give the visitors the lead. The finish marked Accam’s fourth in four games, and his sixth overall in 2017.
The Fire would continue to press for a second as the half progressed, as Nikolic in particular forced Hamid into a number of close-range saves to deny the Serbian-born Hungarian of his 11th goal of the season in the process. United went searching for an equalizer late into the game, but the Fire defensive unit held firm to preserve the 1-0 victory.
Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson earned the shutout, his second in consecutive matches and fifth as a member of the Fire.
The Fire return to action on Thursday, May 25 against FC Dallas at Toyota Park. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. CT on CSN Chicago.
MLS Regular Season
Chicago Fire (6-3-3, 21 pts.) 1:0 D.C. United (3-6-2, 11 pts.)
May 20, 2017 – RFK Stadium
CHI – David Accam (Luis Solignac) 52’
DC – Marcelo Sarvas (Caution) 8’
DC – Lamar Neagle (Caution) 64’
CHI – Bastian Schweinsteiger (Caution) 66’
Chicago Fire: Matt Lampson, Matt Polster, Johan Kappelhof, Joao Meira, Brandon Vincent, Dax McCarty ©, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luis Solignac, Michael de Leeuw (Jonathan Campbell 86’), David Accam (Drew Conner 79’), Nemanja Nikolic (David Arshakyan 90+1’).
Subs not used: Stefan Cleveland, Michael Harrington, Arturo Alvarez, Djordje Mihailovic.
Shots: 15; Shots On-Goal: 7; Saves: 2; Fouls: 16; Corners: 7; Offsides: 5
D.C. United: Bill Hamid, Steve Birnbaum, Chris Korb (Chris Odoi-Atsem 84’), Bobby Boswell, Taylor Kemp, Jared Jeffery, Lloyd Sam, Marcelo Sarvas (Ian Harkes 72’), Sebastian Le Toux, Lamar Neagle, Patrick Mullins (Jose Guillermo Ortiz 72’).
Subs not used: Travis Worra, Kofi Opare, Julian Buescher, Christopher Durkin.
Shots: 10; Shots On-Goal: 2; Saves: 6; Fouls: 21; Corners: 3; Offsides: 1