The Chicago Fire’s road winless streak is finally a thing of the past.
The Fire beat the Montreal Impact 3-0 on Saturday at Stade Saputo to end the club’s MLS-record 36-match road winless streak.
Luis Solignac scored his first goal since joining the Fire and David Accam had a goal and an assist in the win.
The Fire (5-11-7, 22 points) last won on the road on July 12, 2014. That was a 1-0 win in New England.
Saturday’s win in Quebec featured a lot of firsts for the Fire. The Fire had not led going into halftime on the road in 2016. It was the first time the Fire led by two goals in an MLS match, home or away, all season.
Solignac sparked the big victory by scoring on a counterattack in the 15th minute. Following a Montreal corner, Michael de Leeuw made a short pass from just outside the Fire’s box to David Accam. Accam went full speed to create a counter by himself before laying it off to Solignac on his left. Solignac cut inside on two defenders and curled the shot past Evan Bush.
It was one of the prettier Fire goals of the season and gave the Fire a lead on the road for just the second time this season.
“We tried to isolate them 1v1 and for me I think if I get 1v1 against anyone in this league I’m having a lot of joy,” Accam said during the halftime interview on CSN+.
The Fire got an insurance goal in the 73rd minute via Accam. De Leeuw slid a centering ball to Arturo Alvarez, who had just subbed into the match a minute before. Alvarez’s shot deflected in off Accam, slowly crawling over the line after the deflection wrong-footed Bush.
Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson emphasized the importance of getting that second goal instead of simply defending a 1-0 lead.
“I think so often we get up a goal and then we tuck in and we sit back,” Johnson said on CSN+ broadcast. “The message was we’re in a good spot, we’ve played well, we’ve been in this position before. We have to learn how go on and score again and again and close out games… We did that tonight.”
With Montreal (8-7-9, 33 points) still pushing numbers forward to get back into the match, the Fire had even more opportunities on the counter. Matt Polster put the finishing touches by scoring one of those counters in the 89th minute.
When the match ended, the Fire moved within five points of the playoffs, but remained last in the league due to Houston and Columbus also winning this weekend. The win should be a confidence booster, but if nothing else it is a relief to not have a negative record hanging over the players’ heads.
“This is massive,” Johnson said. “I think for everybody in the locker room it’s a weight off the shoulders.”
The Fire next have a midweek game at home on Wednesday against the LA Galaxy.