Zlatan Ibrahimovic sends the Fire to another close early season loss

CHICAGO – It was the kind of attendance that the team wanted, and they were close to getting the result they were hoping for as well.

But like the weather, and like the early part of this season, it just didn’t quite work out for the Chicago Fire.

A sold out crowd to see the LA Galaxy and star Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw the Swedish striker net the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win by the visitors on a rainy, gusty, downright nasty day on the pitch at Toyota Park on Saturday.

For those who were there to see Ibrahimovic, the former Manchester United striker who arrived with the Galaxy this season, they got what they wanted just before halftime. His header on a cross pass in extra time of the first half beat Fire keeper Richard Sanchez, much to the delight of many in the crowd rooting on the international star.

Meanwhile the Fire had no answer as none of their eight shots on the day were able to get past David Bingham as they team’s slow start to the 2018 season continues. Veljko Paunovic’s team finds themselves now second from the bottom in an Eastern Conference they spent near the top of for most of last seasons, sporting a 1-3-1 record in five games.

But it’s not like the team hasn’t been close, having taken part in competitive matches in all of their MLS games so far. The three losses in that stretch, including Saturday, were all decided by a goal, so the team has been on the verge of a much better start.

Instead, things are a little chilly at the beginning of the season, just like their much-anticipated match Saturday afternoon.