DCU vs Chicago Fire recap


DCU – Bono, Najar, Birnbaum, Williams, Davis, Canouse, Klich, Dajome, Pirani, Ku-DiPietro, Benteke

DCU Bench – Zamudio, Pines, Hines-Ike, Ruan, Durkin, Asad, Santos, Hurtado, Fajardo

CHI – Brady, Souquet, Teran, Czichos, Aceves, Navarro, Gimenez, Herbers, Gutierrez, Haille-Selassie, Kamara

CHI Bench – Richey, Pineda, Omsberg, Navarro, Doumbia, Shaqiri, Koutsias, Torres, Przybylko

Player Notes

  • Forward Christian Benteke scored a brace and recorded an assist tonight; he now has 10 goals and four assists on the season.
  • Forward Ted Ku-DiPietro scored his fifth goal of the season in the 20th minute; assisted by Christian Benteke.
  • Midfielder Mateusz Klich recorded his eighth assist of the season; he led the team with seven final third entries and completed 90 minutes.
  • Alex Bono made his second MLS start of the season and recorded his fifth clean sheet across all competitions; he recorded three saves.
  • Defender Andy Najar made his first start for the Black-and-Red since August 20 against the New York Red Bulls; he led the team with four successful dribbles and nine possessions won.

Stats of the match

Possession %

49.2 – 50.8


11 – 13

Shots on Goal

4 – 2

Blocked Shots

4 – 4

Total Passes

444 – 439

Passing Accuracy %

84.7 – 85.4


2 – 5


6 – 23


2 – 0

Duels Won

47 – 49

Tackles Won

8 – 5


3 – 1


26 – 9


13 – 13

Yellow Cards

0 – 1

Red Cards

0 – 0


DC emphatically beat Chicago as they changed to a 4 back formation and stopped the slump to return above the playoff line. Benteke was an absolute beast in the game and scored a brace while KDP returned to the starting 11 and capped it off with a goal. And Bono returned in goal for the injured Miller and kept a clean sheet against a side who were impotent up front.

1st Half

Frenetic opening minutes of the game. Atmosphere was loud and you could tell the players knew they were in for a game. The forward line of Dajome, Pirani, Ku-DiPietro and Benteke were on fire early on, with KDP and Pirani having early efforts. But it was the man who had been cold recently who opened the scoring. Benteke turned up the heat with his opener, ball through, chest down, cut back inside onto his left foot and placed it into the bottom left corner. A fantastic way to start the game and for the Fire, who hadn’t won any of their previous 16 matches where they conceded first. A tough ask for them to bring it back. Then there was the goal that was ruled out, a long ball by Bono to Benteke, who nodded it to Pirani who then played it back after the big man turned his defender, this though was where Benteke had become offside. Benteke then squared it across, however rather than Pirani getting onto the end of it, it was a Chicago defender who put it in the net. The offside was clear to see and this didn’t even need to be checked. However, DC were able to extend their lead in the 20th minute through KDP. And again it was Benteke who was involved. Dajome hit the ball long to Benteke. Benteke, who had no-one near him, had time to take the ball down, do a keepy-uppy, and then feed the ball through to Ted, who absolutely was cooking and slid it into the back of the net. It wasn’t all positive though for DC as Williams picked up a knock in the 1st half and had to be replaced, and he was replaced by Brendan Hines-Ike. And it was the same for Chicago who had to bring on Doumbia for Navarro. From the 25th-35th minute, Chicago had more of the play but not as much attacking threat while DC, who didn’t have many chances, still looked the more threatening going forward. The best chance for Chicago came in the 38th minute for Kei Kamara. The ball is played into him who is able to chip it up, turn and then volley it, though Bono puts his hands to the side and is able to react quickly and save brilliantly. DC’s 3rd and final goal of the half came in the 40th minute. A bit of a confusion happened as the ref appeared to call for a goal but had his hand up to his ear. Ball was played into Benteke again, who clipped it to KDP, KDP went through but was tackled by Teran. Teran as he fell, played it to his own foot and chipped it over his own keeper. If this hadn’t gone in it was certainly a penalty. And that was the last meaningful play of the half.

Photo by Daniel Rankin – Ted Ku-DiPietro and Christian Benteke celebrating

Best chance of the 1st half?

DC – Could choose from any of the goals really. 

CHI – Kei Kamara’s effort in the 38th minute.

Surprise of the 1st half?

Bono threw the ball up in the air when he clearly meant to roll the ball out, but also the fact that DC controlled the action, looked dominating and were in the lead 3-0 at the break. Also, the Kasper Out banner was asked to be removed from display.

2nd half

Shaqiri came on for the 2nd half to see if he was able to change Chicago’s fortunes. 

The 1st real note of action in the 2nd half was in the 58th minute with DC having another goal ruled out for offside. Benteke was played through by Najar, he squared it to Pirani who tried to pirouette and shoot but it then fell to KDP who slotted it home. Only then did the flag go up for the offside against Benteke with the ball coming through to him fractions late. DC could have extended the lead to 4 in the 60th minute through Birnbaum from a set piece. Ball is whipped in and Birnbaum is free at the back post, but his header is well wide of the goal. He really should have hit the target here. It seemed that the play had slowed down quite a bit, which was to be expected with DC trying to control the game, not being in any hurry as they held a 3 goal cushion. In the 75th minute Bono was forced into a great save by his feet from point blank range. Chicago were calling for a penalty in the 80th minute for a tackle by Ruan on Navarro but it wasn’t given. Replays showing that it was a good clean tackle. Benteke wrapped up the win in the 91st minute thanks to Durkin’s cross. But this came from a great ball by Birnbaum over the top to Pirani as he was free. Pirani was tackled but still able to find Ruan, who slipped Durkin in and Durkin was able to drive it across goal to Benteke who all he needed to do was tap it in for his 10th of the season.

Photo by Daniel Rankin – Team celebrating in front of the Chico Stand

Best chance of the 2nd half?

DC – Apart from the goal, the goal that was disallowed.

CHI – 75th minute and Bono is forced into a great save by his feet from point blank range or Giminez’s effort from 12 yards out which is placed wide

Surprise of the 2nd half?

Teran’s attempt at a throw in where it slipped out of his hands and went about 1 yard.

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