Chicago Fire forward Diego Chaves broke a five-and-a-half-month goal drought in a big way on Saturday night. His 94th-minute winner not only gave the FIre an improbable, last-gasp 2-1 victory over D.C. United, but also preserved the club's playoff chances.
The goal was set up by substitute forward Orr Barouch and left back Gonzalo Segares. Barouch played a great ball to release Segares down the left side, and the Costa Rican defender hooked a cross to the middle. Chaves took it from there, ending his strong off-the-ball run with a sliding finish from eight yards out.
The goal was Chaves’ first in league play since April 23rd – a stretch of 26 games.
“It was a great ball from Orr to Gonzalo,” Chaves said. “Gonzalo made a great run in the last minute and got the ball before it went out of bounds and I just had an open goal.”
Chaves’ goalless drought was a bit surprising considering his hot start to the season. He scored four goals in Chicago’s first six games, with many predicting he’d be the first Fire forward to reach double digits in goals since Damani Ralph had 11 in 2004.
Of course, it didn’t quite work out that way this season for Chaves. He lost his spot in the starting lineup about halfway through the year, making way for breakout striker Dominic Oduro, who’s registered 12 league goals this season.
But all of that difficulty only made Saturday’s goal a little bit sweeter for Chaves and his teammates, who smothered the Uruguayan striker at the bottom of a dog pile immediately after his winning strike.
“It was a great, great lift off our shoulders and his shoulders,” Segares told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “Diego has been working really hard for the last months and especially for him, as a forward, it’s been frustrating. I’m just glad he was able to score the winner and finally get back on the scoring chart again.”