Chicago Fire 1, New York City FC 1 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
Playoff positioning was up for grabs on Saturday for two Eastern Conference contenders, but they remained static after playing to a stalemate.
The Chicago Fire and New York City FC traded first-half goals in a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park on Saturday night. Nemanja Nikolic scored the opener for the Fire 20 minutes in, but David Villa canceled that strike out with a solid finish in the 43rd.
Neither side was overly dangerous in the second half, and their inability to break the deadlock saw them share the spoils.
- STANDING STILL: With Atlanta United playing to a draw with the New England Revolution earlier on Saturday, there was a chance for the Fire to jump into third place in the east. Chicago failed to capitalize, at least on this opportunity, as they were unable to find a winner after Villa struck two minutes before halftime. The Fire finished with just two shots on target, and that has got to be disappointing given what was at stake and that they were playing at home.
- MAXI TAKETH, MAXI GIVETH: NYCFC midfielder Maximiliano Moralez was heavily involved in both goals on Saturday. He first made the head-scratching decision in the 20th minute to dribble backwards in his own penalty area despite being under pressure, and was dispossessed close in front of goal before Nikolic pushed home the easy opener. The diminutive Argentine made up for his mistake in the 43rd minute, however, when he clipped in a gorgeous pass that Villa took down sublimely before rounding Matt Lampson and finishing well.
- INJURY WATCH: On top of not prevailing, the Fire also lost Michael de Leeuw in the first half to an injury. Yangel Herrera and de Leeuw collided on a 50-50 battle at the half-hour mark, and de Leeuw came off worse for wear. The Chicago attacker had to be replaced, and his knock did not look good as he had to limp off the field with the help of some trainers.