BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — In a match where neither team looked particularly dangerous near the goal, the Chicago Fire and Vancouver Whitecaps both needed breaks to score.
The visiting Whitecaps took the lead off a mistake from Fire goalkeeper David Ousted. The Fire tied things up late with a penalty kick that went to video review. The match finished 1-1.
Ousted played for the Vancouver Whitecaps for five seasons and he gave his former team a gift. He chased after an over hit cross, but couldn’t corral the ball before it went outside the penalty box. Yordy Reyna was able to get the loose ball and score with a first-touch shot from a tight angle in the 56th minute.
“I made a mistake,” Ousted said. “Simple as that. I told the guys when I got in the locker room that I apologize for putting us in that hole and it was a mistake from my side. It hurts, especially in a game like this where we needed three points and I think we had the majority of the chances, but that’s the nature of the position.”
The Fire tallied 23 shots, six on target, and had 60 percent of the possession, but couldn’t get anything by Maxime Crépeau from the run of play. It took video-reviewed penalty kick to get on the scoreboard.
In the 82nd minute, the referee spotted a handball in the box that blocked a shot attempt. Nemanja Nikolić stepped up and buried the penalty for his second goal of the season.
“In six games we’ve been with VAR like every day,” Vancouver coach Marc Dos Santos said of the video review process. “I have to start putting it in training to bring it part of training. I don’t know. But (the ref) told me, he promised me it’s a penalty shot. I’m going to have a look at all the angles and have my opinion.”
Dos Santos bemoaned his team’s luck. Beyond that call, Joaquín Ardaiz drilled a shot that hit the crossbar with the Whitecaps up a goal in the 75th minute.
While Vancouver (0-4-2, 2 points) is frustrated with being unable to finish off the win, Chicago is frustrated it was unable to win despite controlling the game. The Fire (1-2-3, 6 points) now have one home win in four matches at SeatGeek Stadium this season.
“I think we were the better team today for sure,” Nikolić said. “I think we deserve more than this one point.”
Nicolás Gaitán made his first start for the Fire. The midfielder showed skill on the ball, but didn’t play a major factor in the match. He played 74 minutes.
Fire coach Veljko Paunović said Gaitán is still working his way into fitness and his best form. Paunović said all of the team’s forwards are rushing in front of goal, which has led to missed opportunities.
“Definitely we are not happy with the result today,” Paunović said. “We have a lot of pieces in attack. The guys are creating a lot of opportunities, a lot of shots on goal, finishing actions. It’s just precision. We lack of precision and the final pass.”