It’s been a great couple days for Chicago Fire Captain Francisco Calvo.
“It was very important,” Fire Head Coach Raphael Wicky said after the match. “I’m happy about the reaction. It’s never easy on the road.”
Robert Berić continued his hot streak, scoring in his fifth straight match, which ties a team record set by David Accam in 2017. In the 15th minute, Berić turned and fired a shot from the right side of the 18-yard-box, of a smart assist from Djordje Mihailović, making it 1-0 Chicago.
Berić’s five-goal streak comes after seven matches without scoring. He said as his teammates are getting more comfortable with one another, he’s finding himself in better spots to score.
“As you can see, how we play, we are making progress from game to game. This is the main reason,” Berić said.
Montreal answered in the 22nd minute. Bobby Shuttleworth made his only mistake of the night, spilling a save from a shot by Bojan. Lassi Lappalainen was able to put away the rebound, tying the match. Shuttleworth was otherwise fantastic on the night, recording six saves.
In the 67th minute, another bizarre bounce hurt Chicago. Against the run of play, a shot by Zachary Brault-Guillard hit Miguel Navarro point blank, skipped across the box, and bounced off Maxi Urruti, who was streaking toward the goal. Shuttleworth had no chance to make a save. It trickled in at the left post, giving Montreal a 2-1 lead.
Shortly after, Calvo capped his big weekend with the equalizer in the 73rd minute, burying a header off a cross from Álvaro Medrán, giving the Fire a hard-earned point away from home.
“It’s not easy,” Calvo said. “The travel, you don’t have too much time to rest. It’s not easy to get points on the road. When you get one, it’s good.”
Besides the goal, Calvo had a great night defensively, earning both Man of the Match honors, and praise from his coach.
“I told him that on the way back in this is what I want, you to be that solid defender, that defender who wins challenges, who steps in front of players, who wins the headers.” Wicky said of his captain. “I think he did a good job in that. I have to look at certain details, maybe he can do better, but I think that was a strong performance.”
- Because of international travel restrictions, the match was played at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, where Montreal is currently playing home matches.
- Johan Kappelhof saw his first minutes for the Fire since March 7, coming on for Boris Sekulić late in the match.
- Both Navarro and Gastón Giménez depart for international duty after this match. Navarro is playing for his native Venezuela, and Giménez made a one-time switch to play for Paraguay. Those two nations will face off in a World Cup qualifier later this month. Both players will have to quarantine for 10 days when the get back to Chicago, meaning they’ll miss nearly a month.
- Despite picking up a point on the road, the Fire have dropped to 11th in the MLS Eastern Conference. The Fire are just one point out of eighth place, however.
- Next up, the Fire visit Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, Oct. 7. The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT. Because WGN is airing the Vice Presidential Debate that night, the match can only be seen on ESPN+.
Chicago Fire FC: GK Shuttleworth, D Sekulić (D Kappelhof 87’), D Pineda, D Calvo ©, D Navarro (D Bornstein 72’), M Mihailović (F Collier 73’), M Giménez, M Medrán, M Aliseda, F Herbers (F Sapong 72’), F Berić (D Bronico 87’)
Subs not used: M Azira, D Omsberg, D Reynolds II, GK Sparrow
Montreal Impact: GK Diop, D Camacho, D Fanni, D Brault-Guillard, D Raitala ©, M Wanyama, M Piette, M Shome (M Bayiha 86’), M Bojan, M Lappalainen, F Urruti (M Sejdic 86’)
Subs not used: D Waterman, D Yao, M Giraldo Ortiz, GK Sirois, GK Pantemis