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Apr 27, 2024 11:10 pm

Fire can’t snap scoreless streak but gain a draw against Atlanta

chicago fire

Chris Brady made five official saves and another key intervention and the short-handed Chicago Fire held on for a 0-0 draw against visiting Atlanta United on Saturday night.

The Fire (2-4-4, 10 points) were without ailing attacker Xherdan Shaqiri, and fellow attacker Brian Gutierrez was limited to a substitute’s role following an injury early in last week’s 4-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake.

And although Chicago’s scoreless run extended to 282 minutes while they failed to register a shot on target, they were able to secure their second draw in three matches.

Atlanta (3-3-3, 12 points) welcomed leading scorer Giorgos Giakoumakis back for his first start since a 3-0 home win over the Fire on March 31, after missing two games to a knee injury.

After an even and relatively uneventful match for the first 75 minutes, the visitors had the best late chances. But they remained winless in four away games despite outshooting Chicago 16-8 overall and 5-0 in efforts on target.

Chicago’s best chance came after eight minutes, when Giorgos Koutsias reached an outswinging cross from the right and hammered a first-time shot from close range off the crossbar.

Not long after, Tyler Wolff thought he’d put Atlanta in front when he reached a rebound following a deflection of Giakoumakis’ initial effort. But Giakoumakis was ruled offside on the play, and a video review did not change the call.

Then in the 31st minute, Brady dived to clearly push Saba Lobjanidze’s dangerous header wide of the far post, but the play wasn’t officially ruled a save.

Those were the main chances of note until the game burst to life late mostly through Thiago Almada’s efforts.

First the Argentine forced Brady into a retreating save in the 76th minute on a corner kick from a tight angle.

Then he struck the post from a good position in the 79th minute. Then he picked out Giakoumakis’ replacement, Daniel Rios, on the back post in the 85th minute, but Brady reacted superbly to deny Rios’ close-range header.

There was time for one more opportunity deep in second-half stoppage time, but this time center back Efrain Morales headed Almada’s service wide of the left post.

-Field Level Media

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