ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2017) – The Chicago Fire started their second phase of preseason with a 4-1 win against the Montreal Impact on Wednesday at Al Lang Stadium.
Three different players scored, the first coming 24 seconds into the match as David Accam polished off a cross from Michael de Leeuw. Dax McCarty and Nemanja Nikolic also found net later in the game. Defensively, Chicago ended the match having still not allowed a goal from the run of play in three preseason outings, surrendering only an 88th-minute penalty kick goal to the Impact.
Highlights: Chicago Fire 4:1 Montreal Impact
The Fire blitzed their way to an early lead thanks to high-pressure from de Leeuw. The Dutch striker took the ball off a Montreal Impact defender’s feet in the box, crossed, and watched Accam redirect from close range for a 1-0 lead.
Chicago doubled that lead in the 15th minute, and it started with more defensive pressure high up the field. This time Accam stepped in front of a pass on the left, and then found Nikolic open near the top of the box. Nikolic took a touch and laid it off for Dax McCarty. The center midfielder closed the sequence by crushing a rising half-volley into the net from 18 yards out.
WATCH: Full Match Archive
Three minutes later it was 3-0 after an own goal from the Impact. Michael Harrington whipped a cross into the mix, and Montreal defender Kyle Fisher was caught with a difficult ball to handle after it skimmed over the head of his teammate. The result was a deflection into the lower right corner for a Fire goal.
Nikolic made it 4-0 in the 64th minute. John Goossens played a short corner and continued with a horizontal run into the box. Juninho returned the ball to Goossens’ feet, and the Dutch midfielder fought off a challenge from an Impact defender before slipping a pass to de Leeuw at the edge of the 6-yard box. De Leeuw took a touch, slotted a shot to the far corner, and Nikolic slid in for the finishing touch at the back post.
Montreal pulled one back in the 88th minute from the penalty spot. Ignacio Piatti won the spot kick, and finished the chance to cap the scoring for the friendly at 4-1.
The Fire upped their preseason record to 3-0-0. The Men in Red return to action on Sunday against Miami FC at IMG Academy (6 p.m. CT / livestream at Chicago-Fire.com).
QUOTE SHEET: Chicago Fire vs. Montreal Impact
Chicago Fire 4:1 Montreal Impact
Feb. 15, 2016 – Al Lang Stadium
CHI – David Accam (Michael de Leeuw) 1
CHI – Dax McCarty (Nemanja Nikolic, David Accam) 15
CHI – Kyle Fisher (own goal) 18
CHI – Nemanja Nikolic (Michael de Leeuw, John Goossens) 64
MTL – Ignacio Piatti (penalty kick) 88
MTL – Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla (caution) 30
MTL – Laurent Ciman (caution) 52
Chicago Fire: Jorge Bava, Michael Harrington (Jonathan Campbell 71), Johan Kappelhof (Joey Calistri 83), Joao Meira (Patrick Doody 78), Brandon Vincent (*Matej Dekovic 71), Dax McCarty (Drew Conner 78), Juninho (Collin Fernandez 78), Arturo Alvarez (John Goossens 61), Michael de Leeuw (*Brandt Bronico 71), David Accam (Luis Solignac 61), Nemanja Nikolic (David Arshakyan 71).
*Unsigned 2017 MLS SuperDraft pick
Montreal Impact: G-Maxime Crépeau (Evan Bush 46’); D- Kyle Fisher (Chris Duvall 46’), Mélé Temguia^ (Víctor Cabrera 46’), Wandrille Lefèvre (Laurent Ciman 46’), Anthony Wallace* (Aron Mkungilwa^ 46’); M-Dominic Oduro (Matteo Mancosu 46’), Marco Donadel (Calum Mallace 46’), Patrice Bernier (Andrés Romero 46’), Hernán Bernardello (Louis Béland-Goyette 46’), Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla (Nacho Piatti 46’); F-Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Nick DePuy 33’, Michael Salazar 61’)