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 Chicago Fire FC

Chicago Fire FC Defeats CF Montréal 3-0 at Soldier Field

July 12, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Chicago Fire FC News Release


Chicago Fire FC's Xherdan Shaqiri
Chicago Fire FC's Xherdan Shaqiri
(Chicago Fire FC)

CHICAGO - Chicago Fire FC (7-7-8, 29 points) defeated CF Montréal (8-12-2, 26 points) with an exciting 3-0 win at Soldier Field on Wednesday night. The win moved Chicago into ninth place, passing Montréal (10th place) and the New York Red Bulls (11th place), putting the Fire in playoff position.

A late lineup change after warmups saw midfielder Gastón Giménez replace defender Carlos Terán, with Mauricio Pineda reprising his role as a defender to kick off the match. Homegrown forward Missael Rodríguez made his MLS debut in the 76th minute, coming on for Georgios Koutsias who had two assists on the night.

Gutiérrez scored his first goal of the season in the ninth minute when Chicago recovered a ball and went on a counterattack. The play started from the back when goalkeeper Chris Brady stepped off his line to clear the ball from danger from the Montréal attack. Gutiérrez won the header and Greek forward Georgios Koutsias carried the ball up the left flank. He held off two defenders before slipping the ball to Gutiérrez in the six-yard box. The Chicago native took a controlling touch before sending his shot into the back of the net.

Two minutes later, Koutsias once again did well to hold onto the ball on the left side, cutting a pass to the top of the box for Xherdan Shaqiri who got enough of a touch to settle the pass perfectly onto the path of Maren Haile-Selassie. The Swiss winger didn't think twice about sending the ball into the goal for the fourth time this season.

In the 34th minute, it was Shaqiri's turn to score with a work of art. The Fire earned a free kick on the right side about 25 yards out. Gutiérrez ran over the ball and Shaqiri passed it to Haile-Selassie at the top of the 18-yard box. Haile-Selassie laid it back off onto Shaqiri's path, and the Swiss maestro curled a long-range effort into the upper right corner. It was Shaqiri's third goal of the season for the Fire, and his assist on Haile-Selassie's goal puts him at second-most on the team with four assists.

It seemed that Montréal would pull one back in the 36th minute when a penalty was called against Chicago, but Ariel Lassiter's shot hit the bottom of the left post and bounced out. Defender Arnaud Souquet then cleared the ball from danger.

Goalkeeper Chris Brady recorded his fifth shutout of the season, and back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his MLS career.

NEXT MATCH: The Fire will continue their homestand with the final of three consecutive home matches, facing off against Toronto FC at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, July 15 at Soldier Field. During Saturday''s match, fans will go back in time to an era of big hair, bright colors, and bold fashion when the Fire host 80's Night. The match will be broadcast on Apple TV+, transmitted locally in English on 890 WLS-AM and in Spanish on TUDN 1200 AM.

Social: Twitter - @chicagofire, @vamosfire (Hashtags: #CF97 #VamosFire) | Instagram - @chicagofire | Facebook

Notes:

Tonight's result marked the Fire's first-ever win against Montréal at Soldier Field, while also marking the team's first win in the head-to-head series since the 2019 campaign.

Chicago is also unbeaten at home this season when scoring the first goal (3-0-2, 11 points).

Out-scoring their opponents 4-0 in the last two matches, the Fire held back-to-back shutouts for the first time this season.

Chicago has won four of its last five matches in MLS play, accumulating 12 points in a three-week stretch.

Head Coach Frank Klopas made one change to the starting XI that took the field against Nashville SC last Saturday.

Defender Arnaud Souquet reprised his starting role opposite Miguel Navarro after serving a one-game suspension during the last match. Mauricio Pineda and Rafael Czichos lined up side-by-side in the backline.

Fabian Herbers made his fifth consecutive start and was joined in the midfield by Gastón Giménez.

Maren Haile-Selassie, Xherdan Shaqiri and Brian Gutiérrez started alongside each other for the third consecutive match. All three scored in the first half against CF Montréal, with Shaqiri also providing his fourth assist of the season. Shaqiri is second on the team with four assists, behind Gutiérrez who has nine.

Greek forward Georgios Koutsias started his sixth MLS regular season match in a Fire shirt, leading the attack from the outset. Koutsias registered his first two assists for the Club, serving Brian Gutiérrez for the first goal and providing the secondary assist on Maren Haile-Selassie's strike.

Homegrown goalkeeper Chris Brady backstopped the team for the 19th time this season.

Defender Wyatt Omsberg (left lower leg), midfielders Javier Casas Jr. (right upper arm), Chris Mueller (right upper leg) and Federico Navarro (right lower leg) and forward Victor Bezerra (right lower leg) were unavailable for tonight's match.

Box Score:

Chicago Fire FC 3:0 CF Montréal

Goals:

CHI - Gutiérrez (1) (Koutsias, 1) (WATCH) 9'

CHI - Haile-Selaisse (4) (Shaqiri 4, Koutsias 2) (WATCH) 11'

CHI - Shaqiri (3) (Haile-Selassie, 4) (WATCH) 34'

Discipline:

CHI - Czichos (Yellow Card) 35'

CHI - Souquet (Yellow Card) 56'

MTL - Offor (Yellow Card) 70'

CHI - Pineda (Yellow Card) 78'

Chicago Fire FC: GK Brady, D Souquet (Dean, 67'), D Czichos (capt.), D M. Navarro, D Pineda, M Giménez (Torres, 46'), M Herbers, M Haile-Selassie (Aceves, 67'), M Shaqiri, M Gutiérrez (Kamara, 56'), F Koutsias (Rodríguez, 76')

Subs not used: GK Richey, D Burks, D Reynolds

CF Montréal: GK Sirois, D Brault-Guillard, D Waterman, G Campbell, D Corbo (Offor, 46'), M Wanyama (capt.) (Piette, 46'), M Duke (Herrera, 46'), M Saliba, M Opoku (Hamdi, 58'), F Lassiter, F Toye (Vilsaint, 80')

Subs not used: GK Pantemis, D Thorkelsson, M Choiniere, F Ibrahim

Stats Summary: CHI / MTL

Shots: 5 / 17

Shots on Goal: 5 / 4

Saves: 4 / 2

Passing Accuracy: 75.9% / 84.9%

Corners: 0 / 7

Fouls: 10 / 19

Offsides: 1 / 1

Possession: 38% / 62%

Attendance: 12,496

Referee: Malik Badawi

Assistant Referees: Nick Uranga, Peter Balciunas

Fourth Official: Ted Unkel

VAR: Rosendo Mendoza

Asst. VAR: Mike Kampmeinert

Comments or Questions? E‑mail firecommunications@chicagofirefc.com.





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Chicago Fire FC's Xherdan Shaqiri
Chicago Fire FC's Xherdan Shaqiri

  

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