The Chicago Fire snapped a four-game losing streak on Saturday night.
Unfortunately, their winless streak reached five as they settled for a scoreless draw against CF Montreal.
On the run of play, manager Frank Klopas and the Fire will take the draw, and the point, as the home side were the better side throughout the match.
A sign of things to come, Montreal almost scored in the opening minute as their shot ended up hitting the side of the net defended by Chris Brady.
Brady, the Fire’s best player on the night, saved a header in the 15th minute. This would be a theme throughout the first half.
The Fire caught a couple of breaks as George Campbell’s header off a corner hit the post. A minute later, Jules-Anthony Vilsaint saw his shot sail across goal just wide.
The offense for the Fire was almost non-existent in the opening half. Kei Kamara, who is still searching for the goal that would tie him with Landon Donovan for second place in MLS’ top scorers, had Chicago’s first shot of any sort in the 45th minute. Rafael Czichos would have their first shot on goal moments later but nothing that troubled the Montreal keeper.
Arnaud Souquet had the first shot in the 51st minute that caused the keeper trouble. It was a long-range effort that didn’t seem that dangerous. The keeper got himself in trouble but it was the closest the Fire had gotten up to that point.
From the 80th minute onward, it was all Montreal.
Bryce Duke saw his shot go agonizingly close past the outstretched arm of Brady. Former Fire player Chinoso Offor was near the back post and tried to dive and tap it in but couldn’t make it in time.
Offor had another opportunity in the 89th minute but saw his header saved by Brady. Brady then made up for his own error when he punched a cross away only to see it land to Duke but managed to parry his shot away.
But Brady’s biggest save would come in stoppage time.
In the 92nd minute, Souquet’s attempt at a clearance left the ball near the penalty spot. Brady came up huge to make a near point blank save to keep the game tied.
The game somehow ended in a scoreless draw with the Fire fortunate to get anything out of the match. Brady picked up his seventh clean sheet of the season.
While not a win and the Fire still out of the playoff places, snapping their four-game skid is important if nothing else to build confidence. One of their objectives was to regain that defensive solidity they displayed prior to the Leagues Cup break. While they still gave up too many chances, Brady bailed the team out and kept Montreal from scoring.
Things won’t get any easier for Chicago as they have to prepare quickly for their next match on Wednesday against fifth-place Columbus.