Luciano Acosta scored the tiebreaking goal in the 85th minute, and visiting FC Cincinnati took advantage of two glaring Chicago Fire mistakes to match a franchise’s single-season record with their fourth victory in a row, winning 2-1 on Saturday night.
Two minutes after Chicago’s Jhon Duran leveled the match off a Xherdan Shaqiri corner, Acosta recorded his fifth goal for Cincinnati (6-5-1, 19 points), which won six games in its inaugural 2019 MLS season, but only four in each of the last two.
Acosta converted after teammate Brandon Vazquez pressured Fire goalkeeper Gaga Slonina, who turns 18 on Sunday, into a lazy pass that found the Cincinnati midfielder, who then positioned himself for the go-ahead strike.
Cincinnati also benefited from Chicago defender Rafael Czichos’ own goal in the 33rd minute.
Roman Celentano made four saves for Cincinnati.
The Fire (2-5-4, 10 points), losers of four in a row and winless in seven straight, owned a 17-9 advantage in overall shots and 5-3 on target, but still have not scored more than one goal in a game during their current 0-5-2 league rut.
For a solid 10-minute stretch leading just past the half-hour mark, Chicago applied consistent pressure at the Cincinnati end. However, its biggest offensive moment of the night came via an unfortunate misplay by the Fire. Czichos headed a long entry ball back toward Slonina, who moved forward to play it, but was too far out of position as it went well over his head and into the net.
MLS veteran and another suburban Chicago product Chris Mueller, making his first start in his second match since joining the Fire, was consistently active during the first half. The Fire recorded nine shots in the first half, three of which were on target.
However, FC Cincinnati was the early aggressor out of the break. Yet, Slonina (two saves) made a point-blank stop on Alvaro Barreal’s drive. Then moments later, Slonina got enough of his body on the ball to spoil a Cincinnati cross.
–Field Level Media
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