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The beautiful game as seen by a fan living it every day

Fire Streaks? Free Kicks and Gordo

The Chicago Fire travelled to Orlando Florida to take Orlando City and came home with three points thanks to a 2-1 victory. Fire midfielder Aleksander Katai scored a beautiful Free Kick earned when Diego Campos was brought down 25 yards from the goal.He struck the ball well bending it around the wall, there was nothing the Orlando keeper joe Bendik could do but watch it hit the back of the net. Katai’s shot was nominated for Goal of the Week.

Orlando were able to find the equalizer in the 28th minute, when Chris Mueller fed a pass to Cristian Higuita who tucked the ball inside the post. But that was the only one to get past Fire keeper Patrick McLain, who made five saves on the night, including a near impossible save of a Justin Meram shot. McLain was later named Man of the Match.

The Fire would go ahead in the 82nd minute and stay there thanks to the last ditch heroics from forward Alan Gordon, who came on for Nemanja Nikolic.. Midfielder Bastain Schweinsteiger passed the ball to Gordon who struck a beautiful shot from 30 yards out into the back of the net. The Orlando defenders seemed to watch Gordon pick up the ball, perhaps thinking Gordon is not known for scoring from outside the box. This goal was only the second in his career from outside the box.

The only dark cloud of the game for the Fire was the 89th minute red card ejection shown to rookie midfielder Mo Adams. Adams was brought down and appeared to kick out at the Orlando player. Adams had been fouled numerous times in the match. The Fire do have the option to appeal the card, if they so choose.

So is this game the start of a turnaround for the Fire who have had a poor start to the 2018 season. They are now in 8th in the Eastern Conference standings with a 4-6-2 record. Head Coach Veljko Paunovic was quick to play down any talk of Fire momentum after the Orlando match. He had this to say “For us, it’s going game by game. We were in this situation a couple of weeks ago when we won also on the road, but we weren’t capable to create some momentum,” “Yes, this is important, but we don’t want to think about creating some momentum, it’s just going to come. Live this moment, recovery and prepare for the next game.” Chicago Fire Communications

The Fire will be back on the road this Wednesday to take on the Philadelphia Union. Perhaps the Fire are beginning to find their style and to mesh as a team. Head Coach Paunovic described their style like this, “The way we played requires a lot of strength and energy and we also had difficult weather, the same as our opponent, so there are no excuses for that. It was difficult to sustain that good pace of the game that we had in the first half. To be honest, the individual quality of our players decided the game and I'm so happy that the way we played, that it can get to that moment where the guys step in the responsibility and decide the game just scoring fantastic goals.” Chicago Fire Communications