Jhon Duran, a 19-year-old with the Chicago Fire, is in pain early against Intger Miami but recovered and scored two goals in a 3-1 victory Saturday in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Jhon Duran, a 19-year-old with the Chicago Fire, is in pain early against Intger Miami but recovered and scored two goals in a 3-1 victory Saturday in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Soccer Report: Fire breaks goal drought in win over Miami

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

Remember when the Chicago Fire opened the season getting shut out in six of its first eight games?

Recently, the Fire started to recreate that skid as they entered their battle with Miami having been blanked in four straight matches and 402 consecutive minutes.

Chicago was able to finally break forgettable streak as Jhon Duran scored in the 40th minute to open the floodgates in a 3-1 victory over Miami on Sept. 10 in an MLS match at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.

Xherdan Shaqiri added a goal in the 64th minute and Duran scored again in the 87th minute to keep many in the announced crowd of 15,104 happy.

It was the second of three Fire games scheduled to be played in Bridgeview. The Fire dropped a 2-0 decision to New York City there on Aug. 21 and close the league season there Oct. 9 against New England.

22 and 26 scaled

Fire player Mauricio Pineda, right, who had a 101 degree temperature on Saturday, battles Gregore in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

At 9-13-8, the Fire has a lot of winning to do to climb into the top seven in its division to qualify for the playoffs, but the opportunity is there.

“Coming into this game, there were 15 points out there to be had,” Fire coach Ezra Hedrickson. “We knew if we can get all 15, we put ourselves in a good position. We knew we couldn’t get all 15 tonight, but we wanted to make sure we got all three.

“Getting through tonight was a must as far as keeping some momentum, keeping some confidence going forward to the next four. And we just told them to play freely, play without fear; don’t worry about anything, just go out and play a game.”

 

Red Stars maintain spot

The Chicago Red Stars tied OL Reign 2-2 on the road Sept. 9 and stayed in sixth place in the NWSL after the weekend action, one point ahead of Angel City.

Six teams make the playoffs and the Red Stars (7-5-6, 27 points) had four games left entering this week. They were scheduled to return to SeatGeek Stadium Wednesday against Kansas City and play at 7 p.m. Saturday at home against Houston.

Ella Stevens scored a goal in extra time in the first half to help the Red Stars pull even with the Reign 1-1 at halftime. Danielle Colaprico gave the Red Stars a short-lived 2-1 lead with a penalty-kick goal in the 66th minute, but the Reign (7-4-7, 28 points) knotted it up in the 79th minute on a Rose Lavelle score.

Red Stars coach Chris Petucelli wants the team focused on the next game and not the playoff picture.

“I think that that’s something we’ve instilled from Day 1, is just to go one day at a time, whether that’s training or the next match and not get too far ahead of ourselves,” he said. “We all realize what’s going on and we know what’s at stake. I’m aware, but in order for us to be successful we just have to play the next match and focus on playing the next match. The next match for us is against a good opponent, so they’ve got our attention.”

MUELLER scaled

The Chicago Fire’s Chris Mueller gets ready to inbound the ball in a 3-1 win over Inter Miami. Photo by Jeff Vorva

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