The points were shared at the Stade Saputo on Saturday night as CF Montreal drew 0-0 at home to the Chicago Fire.
It wasn’t the most thrilling contest, but both teams did have opportunities over the course of the night. All things considered the final result was a fair one, and neither side will be too unhappy, even if it’s not ideal for either.
Montreal nearly scored in the opening minute. Zachary Brault-Guillard was slipped through down the right wing, and he chipped the goalkeeper, but his effort hit the wrong side of the net.
They came very close once again when a corner was headed by George Campbell towards frame. Unfortunately for him it hit the frame, specifically the crossbar, before flying out of danger.
The hosts kept pushing forward, and had another chance soon after. This time it was Jules-Anthony Vilsaint getting in on the action, but he dragged a low shot wide of the frame.
Things died off until the half, although Chicago did finally have a chance of their own right before the break. Maren Haile-Selassie made a sharp cut before getting a shot off, but his attempt also went wide.
The Fire were the better side to start the 2nd half. They were the ones having most of the ball and most of the opportunities. Arnaud Souquet found space on the right-hand side, but smashed the ball into the wrong side of the side netting.
After a spell of back and forth, Montreal then got back into things. They were inches away from scoring when Bryce Duke drilled a low cross to the backpost, but no one was on hand to tap it in from close range.
The two teams went for it late on, and it seemed like Chicago had an opening when Brian Gutiérrez got the ball in the box, but his strike went right to the goalkeeper. Then Montreal had a chance of their own, and Chinonso Offor rose high to win a header, but he also redirected the ball at the keeper.
Chris Brady then decided to just stand on his head for the final few minutes. Duke had two incredible chances on his own, but on both occasions he was denied in heroic fashion by Brady.
Those proved to be the final highlights of the contest, with the teams forced to settle for a point each.
What it means
The standings didn’t really change much due to the draw.
Montreal stayed in 8th, just inside the playoff picture. Chicago stayed in 10th, just outside the playoff line.
Both have a tough run in when it comes to the rest of the campaign, so it’s fair to say that either side really could’ve used the win and all three points.
They’ll cross that bridge when they get there.
Notes and observations
I don’t know if I actually like this Montreal jersey or not.
Montreal’s coach looks really familiar. Like I don’t actually know who he is, but I feel like I do.
It’s a little worrying that Xherdan Shaqiri couldn’t start. The reason will be that he just came back from international duty, and that he played in both games for Switzerland. However, if he was able to start in those games, why couldn’t he start in this one? I don’t blame him if he cares more about his country than his club, but Fire fans will.
For the sake of narrative, it would’ve been really funny to see Chinonso Offor grab the winner. He had a typical showing off the bench, bringing tons of energy to the team but just lacking a bit in the final third.
Chicago’s offense is really grinding to a halt. They haven’t scored in four straight games now, and they didn’t really come too close to breaking that duct tonight. This woeful run has come at an awful time, and it very well could cost the club a spot in the postseason. If only that DP striker came in this offseason.
Man of the match – Chris Brady
Chris Brady is so good. Chris Brady is only 19-years-old.
No one had really stood in this contest for most of proceedings. Then, in the final few minutes, Brady put on his superhero outfit. He made a pair of wonderful saves at the crucial moments, and it led to Chicago keeping the clean sheet and at least getting a point from the match.
The goalkeeper is so good, and he’s so young. The future’s bright, and even if things don’t turn out this season, Brady will be just fine going forward, whether that’s with the Fire or somewhere in Europe.