On Saturday, Kacper Przybylko’s 90th-minute header handed the Chicago Fire a 1-0 victory over visiting Toronto FC.
Przybylko came on as a replacement just a minute earlier, as the Fire attempted to add some attacking depth in pursuit of the game-winning goal. With Chicago (8-7-8, 32 points) pressing, Miguel Navarro finished a wonderful passing play by sending a lovely cross into the box that found Przybylko’s head.
It was Przybylko’s fourth goal of the season, and he has seen his playing time decrease since Frank Klopas took over as Chicago’s interim head coach.
The Fire are presently 6-4-3 under Klopas, with a 5-1-0 record in their last six games and three straight shutout victories.
Chicago goalie Chris Brady needed only one save to record his sixth shutout of the season.
Toronto FC (3-11-10, 19 points) has lost six straight games as part of an 0-6-3 dismal streak. Toronto has also failed to score in its last four games.
Toronto FC’s offensive woes continued on Saturday, as the team had only one shot on goal (out of 11 total shots) and struggled to keep moves alive in the final third of the field. The Fire’s defense put in another excellent effort, with an additional man back practically every time Toronto had the ball in Chicago’s end.
The Fire also struggled to finish, despite having the most of scoring chances. Sean Johnson, the goalie for Toronto FC, made four saves to keep Chicago at bay until the final minute of play.
In the 23rd minute, Fabian Herbers had Chicago’s best chance of the first half with a re-directed effort, but Johnson saved the hazardous close-range attempt. Johnson also denied Xherdan Shaqiri and Kei Kamara on close-range attempts in the second half as Toronto FC attempted to salvage a point.
Johnson and Jonathan Osorio (both on international assignment) have returned to Toronto’s lineup. Sigurd Rosted and Matt Hedges both returned after missing multiple games due to injuries, and Latif Blessing and Franco Ibarra made their Toronto debuts after being acquired in separate trade deadline moves earlier this week.