Nemanja Nikolic lifts Fire past Crew, 1-0
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) — Nemanja Nikolic scored his second goal of the season and the Chicago Fire beat the Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew 1-0 on Saturday.
Dax McCarty, in his 250th career MLS start, sent a through ball up the middle to Nikolic, who got loose in the box and scored from the right side in the 22nd minute, the ball deflecting off goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
The Fire (2-1-2) had given up seven goals in their four matches but Jorge Bava turned away three shots on goal for the clean sheet.
Justin Meram, who had three goals in the previous two games for the Crew (3-2-1), did not have a shot Saturday. Columbus outshot Chicago 12-11 but the Fire had six on target.
Much of the pregame attention was on Bastian Schweinsteiger, the midfielder making his second start for Chicago after scoring in his Fire debut. He nearly gave the Fire an insurance goal in the 76th minute but his free kick from just outside the box was tipped away by a sprawling Steffen, who made four saves.