Daniela Calvo - Chicago Fire/mlsfemale
Official Chicago Fire Reporter

By Daniela Calvo // @DanielaCalvo__

Saturday, April 7: 1-0 Win

Starting XI

Sanchez; Ellis, Schweinsteiger, Kappelhof; Vincent, Tchani, McCarty ©, Conner; Campos, Gordon, Nikolić

On a brisk Saturday night, the Chicago Fire won their first match of the season. After last week’s match against the Portland Timbers, Fire coach, Veljko Paunović warned fans that the Fire will have to “prepare for a tough couple of months” due to the team’s weak defense. With that said, and a couple of changes made by Paunović, the Fire defeated their Midwest rivals, the Columbus Crew

The Fire scored early in the first half on a mistake by the Crew’s keeper, Zak Steffen, who tried to pass the ball to one of his own but Nemanja Nikolić was there to intercept the pass, and then score. The Fire was able to hold onto the lead at the half.

The second half was intense; the Crew had more possession and shots on goal, two of which were saved by the crossbar. In the 75th minute, Columbus put the ball in the back of the net but the referee marked it offside. Moving Bastian Schweinsteiger to center back aided the Fire and the weak defense. Schweinsteiger logged 11 defensive clearances. In the end, the Fire escaped with a win- it was not a pretty win but it was an important one.

This match was goalkeeper, Richard Sanchez’s first shutout game in his 6 games with the Fire. He also won Man of the Match for keeping a clean sheet against the Crew.

Rookie, Diego Campos made it to the starting lineup at mid after a stellar performance during the Timbers game the week prior. During the match with the Crew, Campos created two opportunities to score but did not have his teammates there to help him close the play.

Drew Connor recorded his first start of the season.

Grant Lillard made his MLS debut when he was subbed in at the 36th minute.

Schweinsteiger will face his old Manchester United teammate, Zlatan Ibrahimović this weekend when the Fire play against the LA Galaxy at 2:30 PM CST.

Images courtesy: Daniela Calvo/mlsfemale

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