VANCOUVER – This has been a season of ups and downs for the Men in Red, but recently things had leaned towards the positive.
Over the past five weeks, the Fire has run through their string in Major League Soccer and put themselves back into the Top Six of the Eastern Conference.
But this would be a different week for Veljko Paunovic’s team, starting even before they made the journey out West. Defender Johan Kappelhof, a 2017 MLS All-Star, was involved in a car accident before training on Thursday and ended up staying back in Chicago for the Fire’s contest with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday.
Then at BC Place, the Fire watched as their opponents stayed a step ahead in the second half to bring their successful string to an end.
Kei Kamara gave the Whitecaps the lead in the first half, then tallied the eventual game-winning goal in the second to help Vancouver to a 3-2 win over the Fire Saturday night at BC Place. With the defeat, the Fire slipped to 6-8-5 on the season and fell a point behind Montreal for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference.
After Kamara’s first goal, the Fire got it back before the half as Nemaja Nikolic scored his 8th goal of the year to even the score at one. Vancouver had the quick response in the second half as Jordan Mutch gave the Whitecaps the lead back with a goal just two minutes into the half.
Kamara added his second tally in the 72nd minute and that turned out to be the winner since Tony Tchani got the Fire’s second goal in the 81st minute. But the Fire never had an equalizer in them, but at least they don’t have to wait long to try and start a new streak.
They’re back on the pitch on Wednesday night at Toyota Park against the Philadelphia Union in an MLS contest.