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Subs Nazarit, Barouch lead Fire to 1-0 road win over Crew

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Three games into his stint as interim head coach, Frank Klopas seems like the right hire for the Chicago Fire.

Klopas, who replaced Carlos de los Cobos late last month following a slow start in which the club tallied nine points in 12 MLS games, made all the right moves in Sunday's 1-0 win for the Fire over the host Columbus Crew. It was his first as coach and the Fire's fifth point in its three matches with Klopas at the helm.

The most critical decisions Klopas made Sunday were substituting Orr Barouch and Cristian Nazarit into the lineup for offense late in the second half. The two teamed up for the game-winning goal in stoppage time of the half. 

With the clock showing 90 minutes, Balouch dribbled into the box, turning around Crew defender Julius James (who'd played well until that moment) and had his shot deflected by Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer. The rebound came out to Nazarit, who cleaned it up for the goal and set off a celebration in the stands above Hesmer, which were teeming with Fire fans.

When the final whistle blew, Klopas embraced anyone he could find and punctuated the moment by bowing in gratitude to the Fire supporters. 

Though the match was largely devoid of much energy, the Fire had the better of play throughout. One of the Crew's best chances came in the second minute when Eddie Gaven took a cross and shot wide left of the goal.

Chicago, playing its third game in eight days and second in four, got going after a free kick from Baggio Husidic went high in the 12th minute. Patrick Nyarko, who had a strong second half setting up teammates for chances they would miss, headed a ball over the goal in the 35th minute. 

The Fire had the only shot on goal in the first half.

In the 51st minute, the Fire's Gaston Puerari had his shot pushed away by Hesmer. Nyarko fed Puerari for a great chance in the 62nd minute, only to watch Puerari's left-footed shot fly over the cross bar.

Nyarko and Puerari almost teamed up for a goal in the 66th minute, but James cleared the shot. Puerari left the match for Barouch in the 67th minute.

Barouch made a quick impact. His shot in the 72nd minute was blocked by James and his try from the top corner of the 18-yard box hit the cross bar in the 79th minute. 

The Crew (4-4-6) generated little on offense and remained at 18 points in the Eastern Conference table. The Fire won for just the second time this season (2-4-8) and have 14 points.



  1. Once again, without Crew Stadium, there would be no Toyota Park.

    That said, the Crew blew it big time. Glad I wasn’t there for that crap. I would have hurled.


  2. Why in the world would a fire fan want to take ownership of Crew stadium? Have you not been to toyota park? For a fire fan, owning Crew stadium is the equalivant of the owner of a masion pointing out he also owns a shed.

  3. Just got back from the match. We, the Fire supporters, made it a point to let Crew fans know that Crew Stadium is OUR house.

  4. Impressive display from the Fire fans. Game itself was a struggle between 2 bad teams. As a Fire fan who is living in Ohio it was SWEET to be at the game and see the Fire live for the first time this year!

  5. The intensity of the rivalry lives on! Fire Fans represented in a big way. There are a lot of games to be played between now and the rematch at Toyota Park on October 22. Lets see what’s come of it all. (BaRouch not BaLouch – just saying)


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